Video visitation has been making the news a lot lately. One topic we’ve seen in the headlines is some debate over detention facilities using video visitation systems to completely replace in-person, face-to-face visitation. As with just about any topic these days, both sides have raised many good points, some less-good points, and a lot of strong opinions.
All the back-and-forth has led to some confusion about video visitation technology, and we’d like to help set the record straight.
First, it is important to understand that not all video visitation systems are the same. There are multiple types of solutions available from multiple technology providers, each with its own variable features, deployment options, and terms of service. Some providers have designed their products and terms with a focus on eliminating in-person visitation, its costs, and its risks altogether. Others have positioned their solution as an add-on to traditional on-site visits, or to expand visitation and its benefits to both facilities and inmates. Still others fall somewhere in between, or accommodate both sides.
It is also true that different facilities, and even different areas within those facilities, may have wildly different visitation and technology needs. A state prison, for example, might be run very differently than a rural county jail. Throw in varying population makeups, individual facilities’ histories, and fluctuating budgets, and it becomes clear that the corrections industry isn’t a landscape you can paint with broad strokes; it’s as diverse a mosaic as the communities it serves.
Location matters a lot, too. Some states and counties have started changing their policies regarding inmate visitations. California is a prime example. Through recent changes such as Title 15, facilities that offered in-person visits as of January 1, 2017 are prohibited from converting to video-only visitation in the future. When visitors travel to jails and visit over video monitors instead of face-to-face, there can be no charge for the first hour. Any new facilities built in the future are also required to include space for face-to-face visits. This has caused some big shake-ups and headaches at the facilities that were going video-only, or required to do so by their chosen technology provider.
This all adds up to some simple facts:
Considering the facts, HomeWAV leaves the implementation decisions in the hands of the people who we believe are most qualified to make it – communities and correctional facilities themselves. We have designed our best-of-both-worlds system with the flexibility to adapt to many detention environments and needs, and our customers appreciate that.
Need to to reduce prisoner transport costs and security risks? We can do that.
Looking to add tele-psychiatry, attorney visits, or clergy visits for inmates? We can do that, too.
Want to expand visiting hours to better accommodate a growing inmate population? We’ve got it covered.
No matter how you choose to implement it, HomeWAV technology can save your facility valuable time, money, and risk on inmate visitation and communications. Our patented inmate-initiated visit option even eliminates the burden of scheduling, letting you save even more.
Is eliminating in-person visitation completely a good or bad idea? We wish we had the final answer, but as a technology company, it just isn’t our call to make. What we do know is that we’ve seen both approaches work and deliver positive results.
If you’ve looked at another video visitation solution and didn’t like what you saw, or felt boxed-in or shut-out by its requirements, we urge you to take a look at another option before giving up on the technology completely. HomeWAV does things differently than other systems, and we’re often a fit where others have failed.Read More...
One of the top user complaints about video visitation systems is technology compatibility. Some video visitation systems have major limitations when it comes to which devices and browsers they can be used on. That’s not the case with HomeWAV. We want facilities to get the maximum benefit possible from video visitation, and that means making the system easy to use and accessible for visitors. We’ve designed our system to be head and shoulders above other systems, and that means making sure HomeWAV can be used securely and reliably on nearly all devices and web browsers.
HomeWAV can be used on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
PC & Mac
No need for debate, HomeWAV can run on both Mac and PC devices.
Minimum system requirements:
HomeWAV is compatible with a variety of the most commonly used browsers on either PC or Mac computers.
Mobile Apps for Tablet or Smartphone
HomeWAV is compatible with Apple iOS and Android. Some competitors have no apps at all. Users set up their account first, then install the app and get visiting.
Don’t see your favorite tech listed or still not sure if HomeWAV can run on your computer? Give us a call and we’ll let you know.Read More...
When looking at video visitation technology, it can be easy for detention facilities to focus on organizational benefits like cutting costs, reducing staff burden, and increasing security. As enticing as they are, these benefits only tell part of the story of why video visitation is such a game-changer. The rest of the story is told on the other side of the fence. It’s about the positive effect visitation (and video visitation in particular) can have on inmates.
• Visiting keeps inmates connected with positive influences and motivations.
• Visiting improves morale and reminds the inmate that someone cares about them.
• Visiting allows inmates to stay in contact with their legal counsel and health professionals.
• Visiting provides time to start planning for what they will do after their sentence is up.
That last one is especially important because it relates to an even more substantial benefit, one that is arguably the main point of corrections in the first place: to rehabilitate inmates into law-abiding members of society. Visitation has been shown to reduce the likelihood that an inmate will return to jail once they are released. A four-year study completed by the Minnesota Department of Corrections in 2011 concluded that inmate visitation resulted in reductions in recidivism; a 13% reduction for a felony re-conviction and a 25% reduction for re-incarceration for a technical violation revocation.
An incarcerated individual who gets one visit in prison is 13% less likely commit a crime after they’re released.
Sometimes, though, in-person visits are hard to manage. For visitors, it might be distance or physical limitations, lack of time, or even fear of bringing children into the correctional environment or feeling unsafe themselves. For facilities, bottom-line concerns like cost and security risks can be prohibitive.
Video visitation technology helps facilities and inmates reap the positive benefits of visitation while lowering those barriers. Inmates still get face-to-face interaction with friends, loved ones, and legal/health professionals. Facilities spend less time and money while also improving security. Video is an ideal solution to everyone’s visitation needs.
The HomeWAV video visitation system goes even further by including features that make video visits even easier on everyone involved.
An attorney’s time is precious, so if they’re able to speak to their client from the convenience of their office and not have to physically go to the jail, it would be a great thing. With video visitation, attorneys can do just that. At HomeWAV, we made it simple for attorneys and inmates to schedule their meeting online and all sessions are recorded and came be used in the court room.
With video visitation, it cuts down the need for correctional officers and administrative staff to assist which frees them up for other responsibilities. No jail staff is needed to transfer the inmate to a visitation room and no jail staff is needed to search the attorney when entering the facility since this is a video visitation.
Many times, an inmate may be moved to another facility making it a long drive for the attorney to meet up and discuss their case together. Video visitation makes this much easier for both parties.
If your correctional facility is interested in a cost effective solution for visitation that produces revenue on day one, contact us at HomeWav today.Read More...
Sometimes being the leader in something is not always a good thing. As is the case with the United States being the world’s leader in incarceration. There are over 2.2 million people in our nation’s prisons and jails. Over the last 40 years, this is a staggering increase of 500%.Read More...