For inmates serving their sentences in prison, there are few things in this world that are comparable to in-person visits.
Having a chance to see family members and friends in person means a lot to inmates. In fact, that laughter and conversations in some way make the lengthy sentences to appear shorter.
- Helps families to stay bonded
- Allows children know their family members who, otherwise may not be present in their lives.
- Gives inmates tangible hopes that there is another life outside after that imprisonment.
But for those in Jefferson Parish Correctional Center, these visits will be a history starting on October 10. The facility which is located in Gretna, La., will then switch to exclusively video-visitation program.
Similar steps were already adopted by New Orleans prisons some years ago.
The Logic Behind Replacing In-Person Visits with Video Ones.
Sheriff Jeff Lopinto of Jefferson Parish believes that transition to the video-visitation system will be highly beneficial.
The newly promoted sheriff cited prevention of entry of contraband to the inmates during visitations, as one of the advantages.
Although all kind of visitations requires monitoring, Lopinto argues that it takes less personnel to monitor video feeds compared to the in-person visits.
Lopinto adds that video visitation will also increase the availability of the detainees to see their friends and families.
While the inmates highly prefer in-person visits, they’re only availed for 2-hour sessions once per week.
But video visitation will necessitate communication between loved ones and inmates via computer or cellphone almost 12-hours a day, 7-days-a-week.
Sounds nice, right? Let’s look at the costs.
The True Outcomes Replacing In-Person Visits with Video Visitations.
A 20-minute remote conversation using a video-visitation service will cost one about $13. Honestly, this price will be cost-prohibitive to a lot of families thus discouraging them from using this service.
In simple terms, this implies that many inmates are likely to become disjointed from their loved ones entirely. And this is what precisely the attorneys, working in criminal justice and criminal defense are afraid of.
Katie Schwartzmann, Craig Mordock, and Jay Daniels are among the defense attorneys. In their arguments, they all reminded the Advocate about one critical research findings.
The research shows that the inmates, having access to their friends and family, find it easier to reconnect with them upon their release. And that prevents recidivism, significantly.
The trio also expressed their concern about denying colleagues who haven’t even been found guilty, right to meet their relatives. For them, this is being unfair because some inmates might even not be guilty.
As Mordock puts it, video conversations cannot have the same impact as in-person visitations to the detainees.
The sheriff’s office states that free video-visitation calls will be offered once a week. But it will be strictly at a sheriff’s facility that is situated in Marrero, La.
Relatives can arrange for three additional visits a day, using the remote communication service, for a fee.
It began with Cash bond system, then Costly collect calls, now they are charging for inmate exclusive video visitations.
When you look at it critically, don’t you see that government is doing some fundraising?