March 26, 2012
Family and friends can register, schedule visits, purchase e-stamps and send emails through one system.
Based on the success of their pay-per-visit offering, Weber County Jail has implemented Renovo Software's one-way email system. The email system is part of an upgrade to their current video visitation system.
Last November, Weber County Jail added a feature to their inmate visitation system that allows inmates to have extra visits for a charge. Since that time, interest in the program has only grown. Over the past month alone, there have been approximately 330 paid visits which in total have generated about $4000 for the county.
Weber County uses an online inmate visitation scheduling system developed by Renovo Software. With the success of the pay-per-visit feature, Weber County has added a new feature that allows family and friends to email inmates through the same website. Family and friends can register, schedule visits, purchase e-stamps and send emails through one system. Emails will cost around $0.60 each and are limited to one page.
When an email is sent, it is reviewed by facility staff prior to delivery. If approved, emails are then printed and delivered to inmates along with the traditional mail. Inmates do not have access to read and send emails at this time, and visitors cannot send attachments.
Ehren Jarosek, Principal Engineer for Renovo, stated, “The emails go through the same review process as traditional mail. Visitors benefit from the convenience of email over traditional mail, as well as being notified whether their email was accepted or rejected. The county, on the other hand, benefits from a software-enhanced review system, the ability to keep digital records of email correspondences and revenue generation. This really is to the advantage of every party involved."
The new feature was provided by Renovo Software, along with marketing and training materials, at no charge. In return, Weber County splits with Renovo all the revenue generated from the system. Coupled with the pay-per-visit feature, Weber County could generate an additional $20,000 per year. At a time when correctional facilities are facing constrained budgets, this supplemental revenue generation can help to offset the inherent cost of housing inmates.
Renovo Software is a leading developer of software solutions for the video communications industry. The Twin-Cities-based company designs, develops and supports software solutions that schedule, automate and manage complex video networks. Applications include video visitation, courtroom arraignment, distance learning, telemedicine, and business videoconferencing.