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BOP Awards Unisys Corp. Nationwide Prison Phone Contract

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) contracted with Unisys Corp. (Bluebell, Pennsylvania) to install new telephone systems in over 110 BOP prisons nationwide. The September 14, 2005 contract awards $37 million for the first three years, expandable in three one-year options to a total of $96 million.

Under the contract's terms, Unisys will install, maintain and program its Inmate Telephone System-3 (ITS-3). Unisys claims the new equipment requires only one-eighth of the current system's hardware space, and will make use of Unisys ES3120 servers programmed with a prisoner telephone software application provided by Value Added Communications of Plano, Texas.

Unique to ITS-3 is that prisoners will be able to pay for their calls in three ways. They may make a direct debit from their prison commissary accounts; they may call collect; or they may use pre-paid collect accounts. Unisys plans to offer similar services to state and local prison markets.

Not announced was what, if any, "kickback" percentage Unisys returns to the BOP or how their billing compares with free market rates for non-prisoners.

Source: Unisys Corp. Press Release, September 14, 2005.

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