Campbell County Adopts Internet Video Visitation


This article describes the newly installed internet video visitation system at the Campbell County Jail. Campbell County is the first in the region to adopt the new technology. The article discusses the security benefits of the new system and points out that inmates' friends and families can avoid travel, stay connected easier, and that children benefit by being able to visit an incarcerated parent without entering a jail environment.

In fact, some correctional facilities do not even allow children on the premises. Furthermore, it can be stressful for inmates to have their children see them in jail or prison. According to an estimate by the Sentencing Project, there are approximately 2.6 million children in the United States with an incarcerated parent. Keeping those families connected can have positive impacts on both the inmate's behavior, and the child's well being.

The article briefly touches on another important topic, mentioning that inmates, "are more likely to transition back into their families and society if they have contact with the outside world." Several studies, including a recent study by the Minnesota DOC, have shown that visitation can reduce an inmate's likelihood to be reincarcerated by as much as 25 percent. Reducing inmate recidivism rates is seen as a crucial step toward safer communities, alleviating overcrowding at correctional facilities, and reducing costs for taxpayers.

As the article mentions, internet visitations at Campbell County are available seven days a week for 13 hours each day. The schedule for internet visitations is much less restrictive than on-site visits, and they are not subject to the weekly quotas applied to on-site visits. Not mentioned in the article is the option for visitors to purchase an additional on-site visit for $7.50 after an inmate has met their weekly quota.

Another benefit of internet and on-site video visitation that is discussed in the article is security. With visitors registering and scheduling online, staff can spend their time on more mission-critical tasks, and crowded visitation areas should be a thing of the past. Contraband is all but eliminated, and since video units are placed in inmate housing pods, facility staff don't have to escort inmates for visitation.

Both internet and on-site video visitations are monitored and recorded, and if there is inappropriate behavior, staff can stop a visit with the touch of a button. The system can also be used to set up restrictions, flag recordings for investigators, and check visitors for outstanding warrants.