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Jails Are Replacing Visits With Video Calls

Monday May 14, 2018. 05:21 PM , from Slashdot
An anonymous reader shares a report: In recent years, more and more jails have introduced video-calling services. Theoretically, these products could make it easier for inmates to maintain their relationships with family and friends outside. But many jails have moved in the opposite direction, using the advent of these 'video visitation' services as an excuse to restrict or eliminate traditional in-person visits. There are a number of reasons jail administrators have gone this route. But critics say that money plays a big role. In-person visitation requires more staff supervision -- both to escort inmates to and from visitation rooms and to make sure no contraband changes hands during a visit. So switching to video visitation can save cash-strapped jails money. But jails also profit more directly from limiting in-person visits. While on-site video visits are usually free, the companies providing the system generally offer a paid off-site video-calling service, too. And jails get a hefty percentage of that money.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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