Pulaski County Jail inmates may soon be able to visit with family members using video technology.
Sheriff Jeff Richwine told the county commissioners last week that video visitation is one of many services offered by Securus Technologies, at no cost to the county. “Right now, they’re the ones that do our telephones and all that over there,” he explained. “They put all the equipment in and then they charge so much for the inmates to use it and then they give us a cut of that. And so the other thing that you can do, in these kiosks or they could put it on the phones, they can put a little video screen.”
Richwine said he’s been thinking about adding video visitation for a while, but now he’s warming up to the idea. He noted that it would be more convenient for jail staff, as well as inmates. “Right now, every Saturday they can come in and get a visit,” Richwine said. “Well, when you think about that, now we’ve got to have a jailer there that goes back, gets them out of the cell, walks them up. There’s a jailer that’s out front meeting the people that come to visit. And it’s just a lot of movement and a lot of people doing that.”
Richwine felt that video visitation would be especially useful, now that the jail’s housing federal inmates. “Most of them seem to be coming form the northeast, and their families want to visit,” he said. “They could jump on a computer and visit any time. They can schedule their visit. You take the jail people right out of it. You’re not moving people anywhere. They just sit in their cell block. They can pull up a time on these video things and sit there and converse.”
The sheriff hasn’t given a time line for any possible implementation.