Fort Wayne, Ind. (WANE) - The Allen County Jail is adding video visitation capabilities for inmates. It will not cost tax payers any extra money. In fact, the inmates will be charged for the privelage.
Each cell has a video visitation kiosk installed so the inmate can video chat from the monitored screen right in their block.
Inmates will get one free video visitation per week if their visitor comes into the jail lobby to use the kiosk. After the first video visitation, they will have to pay $10 for each call.
Each inmate can have up to 3 calls per day, 25 minutes maximum each.
If the visitor doesn't want to come into the jail's kiosk, they can call from their own device in the comfort of their home. Each call from a personal device will be $10.
Officers say this has many beneifts including paying less staff for manhours, and security.
"It's overseen by monitoring stations throughout the jail where we can monitor any visitations, obviously the man power, and the money that it takes to pay that man power, is a big advantage and jail security, you're not moving inmates all over the jail to facilitate visitations." Lt. David Butler, Assistant Jail Commander said.
Another benefit is for minors. Minor visitation hours have previously only been Saturday mornings, with planning in advance.
Now as long as a minor is approved for vistiation they can video chat anytime if they are accompanied by an adult.
Attorney video vistiations are also available for inmates. Instead of the video call taking place in the inmate's cell, they can go into a private attorney call room.
Overall, the video visitations will create more ease at the jail.
"Generally on a visitation night, for whatever block, the lobby would be full of people, you've got to sign everybody in, pat everybody down, take their belongings before we take them into a secure area." Lt. David Butler said.
The jail has calculated that 5,000 man hours will be saved for the staff.