November 28, 2012
Internet visitation can save taxpayer dollars by streamlining the visitation process, increasing safety in the facility, and generating revenue...
The Davidson County Detention Center in Lexington, NC joins a growing number of correctional facilities across the nation offering video visitation over the internet. The visitation system was developed by Minneapolis-based Renovo Software.
Davidson County, North Carolina is one of the first county facilities in the U.S. to offer visitation over the internet. Internet video visitation allows inmates’ friends and families to visit from the comfort of their home without having to travel to the facility, wait in lines, and go through security pat-downs. Visitors often live hours from the facility, as was the case for a man in Texas who took advantage of the new system on the first day. This new form of visitation comes with a lot of potential benefits for the friends and family of those that are incarcerated at Davidson County.
In comparison to relatively simple video chat interfaces such as Skype, managing inmate visits in the high security world of detention requires an elevated level of control. Renovo’s visitation system allows facilities to set up internet security check-ins, monitoring, recording, restrictions, quotas, planned maintenance, cancellation policies, and other configurations. Visitors can test their device before scheduling an internet visit, and are automatically notified if their visit is changed or cancelled.
In addition to its convenience, internet visitation can save taxpayer dollars by streamlining the visitation process, increasing safety in the facility, and generating revenue along the way. “Our system is designed to bring predictability and efficiency into a potentially chaotic visitation environment,” stated Brian Peters, Director of Customer Accounts and Marketing at Renovo Software. “It is safer and more convenient for everyone—officers, visitors, and inmates.”
The Renovo visitation system chosen by Davidson County will save them time by allowing visitors to register for and schedule visits themselves at https://davidsonnc.renovosoftware.com. Internet and on-site video visitation does not require officers to escort inmates to and from the visitation area. Furthermore, contraband is all but eliminated since visitors and inmates are not in the same room.
Utilizing Renovo’s platform, facilities can collect a fee based on type of visit, visitor location, day of the week, or even time of the day. Davidson County has opted to charge visitors for internet visits and keep all on-site visits free. In contrast to on-site visits, offered Saturdays and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., internet visits are offered seven days a week from 7:30 to 11 a.m., 2:30 to 5 p.m., and 7 to 11 p.m.
Finally, with internet video visitation, children can visit inmates without entering the facility and going through security checks. “Inmates often find it stressful to see their children in a jail setting,” explained Peters. In fact, some facilities do not even allow minors on the premises. “Studies have shown a direct correlation between visitation and reducing an inmate’s likelihood to become a repeat offender. Internet video visitation is another way to keep them connected with their social circle.”
For almost a decade, Renovo’s visitation management solution has helped both large and small correctional facilities cut the chaos out of their visitation centers. With over 100 customers across the US, Renovo’s visitation solution continues to introduce next generation features and functionality. With the most advanced revenue generation options of any solution on the market, Renovo helps facilities achieve maximum efficiency with minimal budgets. Whether offering on-premise video visits, internet video visits or simply scheduling and managing face-to-face visits, correctional facilities can find efficiencies, cut costs, and generate revenue each step of the way.