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Bibb County Jail's New Visitation System

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Updated: Thu, 21 Nov 2013 11:43:58 EST

No longer are the days of speaking with a prisoner inside the Bibb County jail through a glass partition. Instead people will now communicate with the incarcerated by “video visitation” and it doesn’t require people to visit the jail.

The jail's prisoner phone provider Securus set up the new monitor system and gave a demonstration on how it works Wednesday.  Prior to video visitation, the only form of communication happened Saturdays and Sundays through a glass partition, but Bibb County Sheriff David Davis says that came with a security issue.

"There's always a possibility of contraband and even through the glass visits, they were able to get holes in the glass or compromise the glass,” Davis said.

However, that is yesterday’s worry for Sheriff Davis. The jail now has 16 monitors for the public and 53 more inside the inmate housing areas. Instead of just weekend visits, people can now schedule a free 40 minute visitation at the jail during the week. The biggest benefit though is person can speak to inmate anywhere as long as there is a web cam and internet connection.

"This is fantastic for people who live out of state, far away," Securus major account manager, Stacy Fehrenbach said.

A remote visitation with an inmate can be scheduled every day, but it comes at a price, $20 for 20 minutes. The office monitors all video visitations and can stop the connection if there is inappropriate behavior. However, calling from home or anywhere else allows the person incarcerated to speak with as many people at once.

However, Carol Robins of Warner Robins who used the video visitation while her husband was locked up at the LEC says the new system is impersonal.

“It wasn't the same,” she said.  “I think they should go back to the way they were."

 The jail is running a special right now on remote visitations. During November it costs $5 dollars for 30 minutes $10 dollars for 30 minutes during December.

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