July 18, 2012
Online visitor scheduling ensures inmates’ friends and loved ones get a confirmed visitation with the added bonus of allowing facilities to allocate staff time to other priorities.
Riverside Regional Jail, VA has recently implemented Minneapolis based Renovo Software’s advanced inmate visitation management system. Renovo’s system allows correctional facilities to configure, manage, schedule and automate many aspects of their otherwise complex inmate visitation process.
Riverside Regional Jail in Hopewell, VA has had a complex and labor intensive inmate visitation management process for years. Inmates were required to communicate with prospective visitors via phone, after which visitor information was detailed on a form. The form would then be given to visitation staff for verification when visitors checked in at the facility.
Often times, visitors would show up and wait in line only to find that the inmate had been put on restriction or the inmate’s visitation quota had already been met for the week. However, all of this has changed as a result of a new piece of software that will help manage Riverside’s visitation environment.
With the new system provided by Minneapolis based Renovo Software, visitors can go online or use a lobby kiosk to register for and schedule visits with an inmate. The system is configured with Riverside’s visitation policies, procedures, quotas, and visitor-inmate restrictions. When a visit is scheduled, the inmate’s location and availability are now automatically taken into account. Visitors are given a list of available times to choose from and automatically notified if a visit is cancelled.
In the past, officers had to coordinate the escort of inmates for on demand visits. Inmate movement required multiple radio calls to the dorms, and became a complicated, time consuming process. Without a predictable visitation schedule, officers could not efficiently plan escorts and coordinate efforts. The result of the walk-up visitation scheduling process was a high stress environment for both visitors and Riverside staff alike.
Visitors are now required to schedule a day in advance so as to allow the facility to view a complete list of the next day’s visits. "The predictability inherent in the Renovo system saves time and resources by allowing staff to plan out inmate escorts ahead of time," stated Brian Peters, Director of Customers Accounts for Renovo Software. "Online visitor scheduling ensures inmates' friends and loved ones get a confirmed visitation with the added bonus of allowing facilities to allocate staff time to other priorities."
Riverside pays only a nominal fee to utilize the system. In contrast to traditional visitation systems which require on-site servers, Renovo’s managed hosting option allows facilities to avoid the overhead costs associated with the hardware and IT staff.
"What we have seen with existing customers is that the number of visitations jumps 20-30% because it is more convenient for the visitors to schedule visits and show up," points out Peters. Studies, including one recently released by the MN DOC, have shown that visitation directly relates to an inmate's likelihood to become a repeat offender. "By simplifying the visitation process and providing potential avenues for more accessible visitation," Peters continued, "the Renovo system can help to eliminate many of the barriers visitors face today."
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.
In addition, Renovo offers the most advanced revenue generation options of any solution on the market, helping 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, Renovo can help correctional facilities find efficiencies, cut costs, and generate revenue each step of the way.