Detention Facilities

  • What Most Video Visitation Companies Don’t Want You to Know

    What Most Video Visitation Companies Don't Want You to Know

    Inmate visitation is a notoriously difficult burden on detention facility staff resources. There’s scheduling and security screenings, visit monitoring, inmate transport, and more — with costs and risks at every turn. Video visitation technology has emerged to help reduce the labor costs associated with visitation, but some early adopters haven’t seen the savings they expected.

     

    The reason? There’s something most video visitation companies don’t want you to know.

     

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  • Setting the Record Straight on Video Visitation

    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:

    • • What is true for one facility may not be true for another.
    • • What is good for one for one facility might not be good for another.
    • • Video visitation technology itself is not the cause of its more controversial implementations.

    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.

    See a demo of the HomeWAV video visitation system. →

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  • What Most Video Visitation Companies Don’t Want You to Know

    What Most Video Visitation Companies Don't Want You to Know

    Inmate visitation is a notoriously difficult burden on detention facility staff resources. There’s scheduling and security screenings, visit monitoring, inmate transport, and more — with costs and risks at every turn. Video visitation technology has emerged to help reduce the labor costs associated with visitation, but some early adopters haven’t seen the savings they expected.

     

    The reason? There’s something most video visitation companies don’t want you to know.

     

    (more…)

    Read More...
  • 7 Ways to Save on Inmate Visitation With the HomeWAV System

    7 Ways to Save on Inmate Visitation

    New technology usually comes with a hefty price tag. HomeWAV video visitation is different.

    We’ve engineered our solution to be cost effective, first and foremost. We understand that for a technology to work for you, it has to work with your budget. Other internet-based inmate visitation systems can cost upwards of $6,000 per station. This high, front-end cost is not only prohibitive to many smaller institutions, but it also typically results in a decreased interest in ensuring consistency of performance for the long term. HomeWAV’s business model is designed to not profit from its government partners. We keep the cost of equipment and installation to a minimum, ensuring that attention to our product’s performance is the key driver of revenue.

    Here’s a rundown of how HomeWAV helps you save on inmate visitation.

     

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  • Tips for Better Video Calls

    At HomeWAV we want you to make the most of every minute in your video visitations. Here are some helpful tips for better video calls.

     

    1.     Use a decent web cam

    Video quality is only as good as the camera you use. Use a decent camera and play with its settings to maximize performance.

     

    2.     Pay attention to lighting

    Just like on a movie or photo set, lighting is everything in video chats. Too much light behind you will darken your image and make your face hard to see. Light from the wrong angle can create shadows or obscure parts of your face. Use a soft, bright light placed in front of you for best results.

     

    3.     Spruce up the background

    Turn around and take a look behind you. Is there a cluttered mess? Distracting motion? Tidy up and quiet down to make the most of your visit.

     

    4.     Make sure you have a good connection

    Technology can be the biggest culprit of a bad video call. HomeWAV is specialty designed to minimize technical problems. We also recommend some simple steps like closing extra tabs/programs or using a hard-wired internet connection vs wireless for the very best results.

     

    5.     Look at the camera for eye contact

    Eye contact is essential for good communication and feeling connected to each other. During a video call it feels natural to look directly into the eyes of the person on your screen, but for the proper effect you should actually look into the camera lens. It takes some getting used to, but the person on the other end will appreciate it.

     

    6.     Don’t overlook audio

    Just because it’s a video call doesn’t mean that sound is any less important. Sound quality is a notorious issue in the video communication world. Using headphones and/or a microphone can make a big difference, as will making sure you’re visiting from a quiet place, non-echoey space.

     

    7.     Look your best

    We all like to look our best, especially for someone we care about. Here are a few tips for getting camera-ready.

     

    •  Fix your hair. (Did you read that in your mother’s voice?)

    •  Wear a plain shirt in a skin-flattering color that contrasts with the background.

    •  Use foundation, concealer, blush, and bronzer to even out your skin tone and highlight your facial features.

    •  Don’t overdo your eye makeup so they can really your eyes.

    •  Find your best angles & lighting. Practice beforehand. You’ll feel silly, but it pays off.

    •  Don’t fuss with your look during the call. Keep your hands off your face and out of your hair. Remember that you’re having a conversation, not looking in the mirror. This seems simple, but the impulse will strike. Fight it!

     

    Follow these tips and you’ll be on course for a great video visit!

     

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