August 29, 2013
Fox 19 News in Newport, Kentucky featured a story about internet video visitation at the Campbell County Detention Center. The system, designed and developed by Renovo Software, was purchased by Campbell County through Combined Public Communications, an inmate phone system provider.
Fox 19 spoke with Campbell County Jailer, Jim Daley, who said, "It is a video visitation system that inmates and their families can use online so people no longer actually have to travel to the detention center." Daley added, "It actually saves the county and taxpayers of Campbell County money because it reduces our output of manpower hours by not having to move inmates about, and it's a big safety factor for us. We're not taking inmates out of cells for visits."
Reporters also spoke with Major Gracy Nagel who pointed out that staff at the Campbell County Detention Center now have the ability to monitor on-site video visits and internet video visits. The report mentions that, "Nearly all visitations there are done by video, and they're all recorded for future review." In fact, video technology can also help fight crime in the community. Campbell County can flag visitors or inmates to automatically notify investigators of visits they may want to monitor or review.
Fox 19 reporters also spoke with a community member who stated her opinion, saying, "if it's to be introduced, I think it should be something that's earned." While the technology allows visitors to register, schedule visits, and visit inmates online, it does come with a price. Visitors choosing an internet video visitation pay $6 for a 15 minute visit or $10 for a 25 minute visit.
Furthermore, several studies have shown a direct link between inmate visitation and reduced recidivism rates. One study by the Minnesota Department of Corrections found that inmate visitation can reduce an offenders' risk of reconviction by as much as 29 percent. Maintaining relationships with family and loved ones is especially important for inmates because they are likely to have a difficult time finding employment and a place to stay. In fact, the study states that 40 to 80 percent of inmates rely on family immediately after release.
Visitation systems like the one being used at Campbell County can help reduce barriers to visitation by eliminating the need for travel, allowing visitors to schedule online and visit from the comfort of their home, and eliminating the need to wait in long lines in an uncomforting setting. The time and cost savings for correctional facilities can be significant, in addition to revenue brought in through added services like internet visits. Finally, these technologies can help investigators fight crime in the community and lessen the burden on taxpayers.
Read more at fox19.com