In an attempt to help cut waiting times for inmate visits, the Morgan County Jail officials have decided to add another visitation room. The hope is that more people will be able to visit their loved ones when the second viditation room is completed.
According to Sheriff Ana Franklin, the need for more visitation rooms is due to the increased population and the need to make sure that everyone is accommodated without forcing long wait times to visit inmates. Since each inmate is allowed three visits each week, the added room will alleviate a lot of stress on the system.
The added room has been in the works for a while, and Chief Deputy Mike Corley noted that it was discussed when the addition to the jail began. He said that officials knew that with the near double size of the jail, the number of monitors would also need to be doubled.
In 2015, the county began a 450-bed add-on, which was completed in February of 2017. The new capacity is 950 inmates. In the current visitation room, there are 12 video monitors for visitation, but the new room will increase the number to 24.
Vendengine, the visitation equipment vendor, is paying for the monitors, as part of an agreement for the expansion of the jail.
While the county will still need to cover the cost of finishing the room, the cost is expected to be minimal, as it is using it’s existing inmate and maintenance crew to build the room. It will be worked on at night and during the day and should be finished within just a few weeks.
In addition to video visitation equipment, there will be additional updated inmate scheduling equipment, which should streamline the entire visitation process.