Natchez installs inmate video visitation - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Natchez installs inmate video visitation

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NATCHEZ, Miss. (KNOE 8 News) - Out with the old and in with the new. From face-to-face communication, to conversations by computer and monitors. By week's end, Adams County Jail will completely eliminate in-house visitation by family and friends.

John Best, with Homewav, the company who sold the county the system, said it's not complicated.

"There is a green dot that indicates the person is online and the person is ready to receive a visit," Best said. "If they are not online it will have a red dot and if for some reason their privileges have been revoked, it will have a yellow dot."

For family and friends, access is available through a computer, smart phone or tablet.  After signing up, visitors may schedule a visit. But the inmate must initiate the call, just like a collect phone call. Each call costs the visitor 50-cents per minute.

Captain Ed Tucker said the system will help with security and space issues. He said money made from the calls will go toward equipment fees and maintenance. Tucker also said the system is completely legal.

"Before we proceeded with this we asked for the state attorney general's opinion on it and we got a favorable opinion on it," Tucker said. "Visitation is actually a privilege not a requirement of the law."

Sheriff Chuck Mayfield said they have received positive feedback from inmates and families. He said they have been working with churches to ensure everyone has access to the system.

Ouachita Parish is currently considering going to video only visitation at the parish lock-up. However, the parish will have a central facility for visitors to visit free, along with an at home fee based web service. 

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