No More In-Person Visits At County Jails

By Stina Sieg
Published: Thursday, November 6, 2014 - 5:34pm
Updated: Friday, November 7, 2014 - 10:30am
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(Photo by Stina Sieg - KJZZ)
Sheriff Joe Arpaio shows off a new video chat system recently installed in county jails. It allows people to connect with inmates from anywhere in the world - for a price.

Prison inmates here in the Valley are no longer allowed face-to-face visits with friends and family. Now, the Maricopa County jail system now hosts the largest video visitation system in the country.

People have been visiting inmates via video screens for years in Maricopa County. But at some jails, they’ve still been able to see inmates face-to-face. Now, even those chats are through a video screen, so every jail in the county is now part of this system. Sheriff Joe Arpaio said this will cut down on contraband being brought into jails and also relieve stress on detention officers.

"But I’m really impressed and excited about how anybody in the world can tune into this jail system," he said. "And talk to inmates incarcerated in this county, from anywhere in the world."  

That’s if they have to money. Using video screens at the jails will still be free. But accessing the system remotely costs $5 for 20 minutes. That will go up to $12.95 at the start of the new year. The sheriff’s office gets a small percentage of the money. 

 

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