Fort Bend County Jail in Richmond, TX switched to a video calls only visiting system a while ago.
Prison Visits & Issues

Massachusetts Jail: No More Personal Visits, Only Video Calls Allowed

In-person visits to the Bristol County House of Correction and Jail will soon become a thing of the past. Mass Live reports that this county jail plans to replace these visits with jail video calls.

Reason for Banning In-Person Visits at Bristol County Jail

Jonathan Darling is spokesperson for the office of the County Sheriff. He said this became necessary to curtail the introduction of illegal substances getting into the jail.

Darling disclosed that keeping visitors away from the secure portion of the jail will prevent people sneaking banned substances to prisoners. Officials are frustrated by the practice of smuggling illegal substances to prisoners under the guise of paying personal visits.

Implementing Jail Video Calls at the Massachusetts Jail

A row of video conferencing equipment will be installed inside the prison grounds, This enables visitors to chat with incarcerated inmates via jail video calls. Families will also be able to chat with their incarcerated loved ones remotely from their homes.

Prison loved ones generally pick up the tabs for phone calls from prisons and jails (with the exception of prepaid phone cards). Therefore, visitors will also be the ones charged for jail video calls.

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However, the video call rates have not been determined yet by correctional officials. This will be made public in due course, according to the Mass Live report.

Fort Bend County Jail in Richmond, TX switched to a video calls only visiting system a while ago.
Fort Bend County Jail in Richmond, TX switched to a video calls only visiting system a while ago.
Image Source: Mass Live

Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson’s Big Plans

Bristol County House of Correction and Jail in North Dartmouth is the first within the state of Massachusetts to cancel in-person prison visits and replace it with jail video conferencing.

It is not yet clear if members of the general public will debate or contest this reform by the House of Corrections. But, it is capable of generating some interesting reactions.

Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson earlier this year voiced his intentions on putting inmates to work. He wants to make prisoners pay a daily fee of $5 for the chance to work daily at the US-Mexico border.

This, Hodgson said, will enable Massachusetts prisoners to work on President Trump’s proposed wall on the US southern border.

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Has your loved one’s jail or prison implemented video calls only? How do you feel banning in-person prison and jail visits effect inmates and their loved ones? We’ve love to know. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Charles Omedo
Charles Omedo has a degree in Mass Communication and a PGD in Digital Communication. He worked as a newspaper/magazine reporter and editor for many years. Now, he writes daily news articles for private clients. Charles has written for US/UK/Canadian/Indian clients on various niches. He currently writes prison news for loved ones of inmates on the Prison Rideshare Network.