Technology is always shaping America, but for our jail systems we continue conducting our visitations with glass between us. But now the tom green county jail is replacing that glass with video and putting up bids for a new video visitation system that will ultimately function like Skype.
Sheriff Jones, "We have phone systems in the jail so that they can maintain contact with their family through phone, this is just another way for them to maintain contact with their people. It's also a way that we can control our jail in having something that we will take away if they are not acting right."
Of course these conversations will be monitored like any other time the inmates are given the opportunity to speak with family members or friends. And although this is a fairly new concept many jails are looking into implementing the system and even looking to see if ours turns out to be a success.
Todd Allen, "It's fairly new, there are several, I believe that Lubbock has a system like this, Taylor county is actually looking at a system right now that they are going to look at our books and see, but it is catching on."
Many positives could come the system, from a family point of view those wanting to bring their children to visitation now will not have to introduce them to that environment, and rather than being able to speak with them only twice a week for twenty minutes at a time, they could now keep in contact every day for 20 minutes.
"When you are incarcerated you feel alone, you feel very your family is not connected, if we can keep people connected, especially with their kids. The people at home, also need to be connected to that person, I think it will improve the jail environment as well as those at home."
It's mandatory for the jail to give at least two visitations a week, so for those talking through video during the allotted times there will be no charge, but if you want to speak with family members outside of the time allotted there will be a fee that will bring money into the county.