Visitation at the Campbell County
Detention Center is going high-tech.
It is the first jail in our area
to offer off-site, Internet access inmate visitation via technology similar to
Skype that is spreading across the country.
The program started earlier this
month, and costs the jail more than $200,000 to start.
"It is a video visitation
system that inmates and their families can use online so people no longer
actually have to travel to the detention center," said Campbell County Jailer Jim Daley.
The system can be used
nationwide and all over the world for a fee. A 15-minute call costs $6, and a
25-minute call is $10. Those fees will help recoup some of the money
spent on the technology.
Jail officials see it not only as
a way to keep families together, but beneficial to the facility and taxpayers as well.
"It actually saves the
county and taxpayers of Campbell County money because it reduces our output of
manpower hours by not having to move inmates about, and it's a big safety
factor for us. We're not taking inmates out of cells for visits," added
Jail staff members aren't in the
cell with inmates during these calls, but they can monitor what they're
doing. Prisoners must follow regular visitation rules like no nudity or
choice language. Nearly all visitations there are done by video, and
they're all recorded for future review.
"We do have someone that
views the video visitation, and if they're doing something, they'll stop
it. Even on the Internet," said Major Gracy Nagel who works at the
Campbell County Detention Center.
Not everyone sees this system
of letting inmates have these Internet visits as a good thing for all
"I think the concept is one
of those things that's kind of a gray area, but if it's to be introduced, I
think it should be something that's earned, kind of a reward system," said Leah
Copsy who lives in Independence.
The technology only began in Campbell County two weeks ago.