- Associated Press - Sunday, January 19, 2014

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - In-person visits at the Shawnee County Jail are being replaced with videoconferencing for inmates and their families.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports (http://bit.ly/KtTNZb ) the jail’s communication vendor, Securus Technologies, has installed a videoconferencing system that lets family and friends catch up with inmates from their homes or offices. The county doesn’t pay for the new system because Securus relies on the $1 per minute user charge.

The first video visits will be Wednesday.

Lawyers and other professionals can still visit the jail.

Maj. Tim Phelps says the new system has several benefits, including increased visitation hours. Opponents question the cost for users.

Shawnee County Commissioner Kevin Cook also says videoconferencing could mean trouble for people on the other end of the conversation if anything illegal is going on in the background.

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com

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