- Associated Press - Monday, June 25, 2018

RICHMOND, Ind. (AP) - A jail in eastern Indiana is introducing off-site video visitations with inmates.

Visitors starting Monday can visit with a Wayne County Jail inmate through their computer, cell phone or other mobile devices. The jail began on-site video visitations last month, with visitors looking on a screen at inmates who remained in their housing unit, the Palladium-Item reported .

Former inmate Casi Johnson said she’s excited about the new stay-at-home feature because of “having three kids and able to do it from home.” Johnson said her children’s grandparents would not let them visit her at the facility when she was in jail.

“They said, ‘They shouldn’t have to come here and see their (mom),’ and that’s true, they shouldn’t have to,” she said. “It’s my fault or the other person’s fault, whoever’s in here, not my kids’ fault. They shouldn’t have to look at all the other inmates.”

Video visitation eliminates the closeness of face-to-face visits, but the new method allows inmates to receive one 15-minute visit a day instead of one 15-minute visit a week.

“I have seen the public come in to visit particular inmates every single day since we’ve had this live,” said Capt. Andy Abney-Brotz, the jail commander. “It’s pretty exciting.”

Johnson said more frequent visits could benefit inmates’ mental health.

“I’ve been in here before and you get depressed,” she said. “I know we were out here getting in trouble, but you get depressed. That might help them too, with their emotions, being able to see their family.”

Visitors must register online to utilize video visits. The five kiosks at the jail will remain available for free visits. Off-site visits will cost 39 cents per minute.


Information from: Palladium-Item, http://www.pal-item.com

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