The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved a TCG Public Communications, Inc. (TCG) settlement offer to pay $1.25 million to the General Revenue Fund. The settlement offer is the result of a PSC investigation of inmate telephone service in Dade County from 2001 through 2007.
The PSC determined that TCG’s equipment settings, designed to detect and disconnect unauthorized inmate calls, may have caused some authorized phone calls to be prematurely disconnected. When authorized calls are disconnected, inmates must make additional calls if they wish to complete the conversation. As a result of the additional calls, recipients, who are charged for those collect calls, would have to pay higher phone bills.
“The Commission appreciates the difficulty involved in balancing the need to maintain adequate security in correctional facilities with the rights of the public to complete calls originating from these facilities without incurring excessive charges,” said PSC Chairman Matthew M. Carter II. “In this case, the PSC took steps to ensure that TCG will provide responsible and reliable service to its customers.”
TCG modernized its system and implemented specific practices to minimize the disconnection of authorized inmate calls. The PSC will regularly review TCG’s data and procedures to verify that the inmate telephone systems at the Miami-Dade Correctional Facilities are operating correctly.
The PSC is committed to making sure that Florida's consumers receive their electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and wastewater services in a safe, affordable, and reliable manner. The PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in the areas of rate base/economic regulation; competitive market oversight; and monitoring of safety, reliability, and service.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.