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Video Conferencing Guide Ezine, Issue #003 -- Video Chat in Prisons
December 01, 2012

As we all know, Video Conferencing/Chat can be used for various different business and personal reasons.

  • Military Visits
  • Telemedicine
  • Education
  • Big Business/International Meetings
  • Long Distance Family

One particular venue that most don't think about are correctional facilities, Jails, or Prisons.

Projected need for Video Chat in Prisons

Most jails and prisons have a total of 1000 inmates at the minimum. As a result, the visiting room is often filled to capacity on any given day.

The idea that inmates should be doing video chat instead of person to person visit didn't come from just wanting to try new technology.

Benefits

There is an ABUNDANCE of contraband (illegal substances) brought into the prison by visitors such as drugs, jewelry, etc. These things make it an unsafe environment for many housed there as well as working there.

Video Visits will cut down on the contraband brought into the prison as well as decrease the amount of janitorial work that needs to be done as a result of those visits.

In addition it will save gas and travel time for the families of those incarcerated.

Disadvantages

Even though this sounds like a good idea, some look at this as a bad idea.

Some rehabilitation specialists believe that a person to person visit is more beneficial to an inmate than a video chat.

The reason is a person to person visit can affect a person's senses such as feel/touch and smell, etc. According to the specialists, these are things which help in the rehabilitation of an inmate. In addition help them to feel a sense of being human.

These things cannot be experienced through video.

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