Published 11/11/2013 on ArkansasMatters.com
PINE BLUFF, AR – Visiting people held in jail in Jefferson County can now be done over the internet.
Sheriff Gerald Robinson has announced that the Jefferson County Jail and Juvenile Detention Center has launched a new inmate video visitation program.
On August 1, the new HomeWAV system was brought to the facilities to allow family members and friends to schedule and conduct video visits with jail inmates using any suitable computer connected to the Internet. The new visitation system will expand available visitation hours, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Video visitation is the wave of the future for correctional facility communication,” Robinson said, “Jefferson County Jail & Jefferson County Juvenile Detention Center is proud to offer direct video visitation to our inmates and their loved ones.”
These facilities installed the HomeWAV visitation stations—consisting of a telephone handset, keypad, webcam, PC, and video monitor—in day rooms for the inmates. The new visitation system has given the jail complete control of visits at all times with live monitoring, recording of all calls, and database access to visitation records.
HomeWAV is a video visitation system that allows family and friends to enjoy direct real-time video visits with an inmate from the comfort of their own home. For visitors the process works just like a phone call except that a computer with a webcam and Internet access is required. Robinson said that there is no cost to the jail or to taxpayers for the equipment, or installation, and maintenance is covered at no charge for the life of the contract.
Robinson stated that after doing extensive testing and evaluation, the HomeWAV system was selected for its all-embracing features and ease of use. “The new system presents tremendous advantages in time and cost savings, as well as contributing to increased safety and security for our facility.”
According to Robinson, our inmates feel more connected to their homes and families, and this will have a positive impact on morale and behavior.
“Let’s face it — visiting a loved one in an institutional environment, with the inherent security requirements, can be an unpleasant experience for anyone, especially children,” Robinson said. “With this new system, family members are spared the expense, inconvenience, and emotional distress of coming into the jail to visit.”
The visitation system was developed by HomeWAV, LLC, a Virginia based company. “Our patent-pending technology is the most innovative and advanced web-based visitation system of its kind and the only one with no direct or indirect costs to the facility,” said HomeWAV founder and CEO Gary Humphries.
HomeWAV is the leading web based video visitation company in the country with facilities in seventeen states under contract, according to Humphries. It was designed with guidance from jail administrators, with the facilities’ needs and operation uppermost in mind, rather than trying to make jails operate around the requirements of the visitation system.
Since its launch in January 2012, Virginia-based HomeWAV has successfully managed more than 55,000 calls, 440,000 visitation minutes and 28 contracted HomeWAV facilities, with facility personnel and users rating it highly for ease of use, reliability, and security. The system is being marketed nationwide to municipal, state and federal correctional facilities and is currently in use from coast-to-coast.