by Paige Hill
At no cost to taxpayers, the Logan County jail is revolutionizing inmate visitation with technology.
According to deputies the difference in morale and attitudes of notoriously trouble making inmates could be night and day.
Usually inmates get a short five minutes in person of visitation once a week. Even correctional officers say that’s not enough time.
With this new system deputies think these inmates get to see what the crime they’ve committed is making them miss at home.
Chief Deputy Rich Stephens says, “In this fashion, theoretically these inmates can say good night to their children every night.”
Almost identical to Skype or FaceTime, HomeWAV virtually lets inmates into the homes of their loved ones.
Stephens says the time inmates get with their families almost directly affects their behavior behind bars and the old way of doing things just wasn’t working.
“They get a five minute visit one time per week. That’s terrible,” says Stephens. “People don’t get near enough time that way. Everybody’s upset and everybody’s depressed.”
Logan County also houses federal inmates with families hundreds, maybe thousands of miles away. Some of them usually never have visitors.
“They may forget what they have at home and what they have to live for to go back to,” says Stephens. “I think it’s going to lead to the inmates realizing what they’ve left at home.”
With HomeWAV, the loved one the other end pays $.50 cents a minute and they can talk almost as long they want.
Stephens says watching their family’s faces light up shows the program is already making a difference.
“They can see them on the phone and talk to them every day, help them do homework, watch their birthday parties, really interact,” says Stephens. “Being able to visibly see their family member in their home, that’s going to make a big impact.”
The new system is also saving the jail money as they can reduce staffing.
For the safety of the inmates and others the calls are recorded.