Jail visitation has now advanced to video chatting at the Troup County Jail.
Sheriff James Woodruff announced in a press release Thursday that at-home visitation has gone live at the Troup County Jail in a partnership with Securus Technologies.
With the new video visitation, it allows family members and friends of those who are incarcerated at the jail to visit their loved one by using a computer from their home.
“It gives those family members who are disabled, far away and those who can’t drive, the benefit to see their loved ones,” said Marty Reeves, jail administrator captain. “It gives them more ease and makes their life better.”
Those wishing to use the service would have to have a computer with Internet, sound and a web camera, set up a Securus Video Visitation account, have a valid email address and a credit or debit card. To sign up, the user must upload a picture of themselves and a picture of their driver license.
Once the account is set up, the visitor (user) would need to set up an appointment, from their account, to video chat with the inmate. Inmates are only allowed one appointment a day, which can last no longer than 20 minutes, according to Reeves. The system displays various times that the visitor can choose from and will automatically pic which one of the 36 dorm locations within the jail that inmate will be video chatting from.
The system is similar to the video chat program Skype, in that the visitor can chat from their computers and be seen and heard through their web cam. The inmate will be speaking through a phone, however, but will be seen through a camera installed within a screen device mounted on a wall.
Reeves said that if anything inappropriate is done by the users while on the video chat, the call will be automatically disconnected and the offender will no longer be allowed to use the service.
The service was first used on Tuesday when the girlfriend of an inmate signed up, said Reeves. The girlfriend of the inmate was driving from Savannah to visit her boyfriend in jail, and found the video service to be less expensive than driving and less time costly.
The cost is $20 per call and is billed to the visitor’s account.
Reeves said that video visitation will soon become the only form of contact between inmates and visitors, instead of face to face jail visits, due to contraband exchanging. The Visitation Center at the jail facility will be opened at an undetermined date, and will be equipped with the video chat software for visitors to chat with inmates from there.
“I would like to see it open by the summer,” said Reeves. “Families will be able to come in there for free to do their video calls.”
To sign up for video visitation, visit the Securus website at www.securustech.net.