Recently, Sangamon County was in the middle of a heated debate on prison reform. The Sangamon County jail system have recently switched how in house visits are performed. Instead of loved ones visiting face to face through a glass partition, inmates will receive visits from loved ones through video screens while we heir loved one is one floor down in the visiting center.This video system is costing approximately $320,000.00 which is coming out of the inmate fund. Supporters of this change point out details such as: Inmates can receive visitors up to five times a week instead of two, and times are being extended from 20 minutes to 25 minutes per visit.
Detractors of this new system also have valid points. Inmates can’t see loved ones face to face. Even though they visited through glass, they were in the same room and more able to connect. With a video screen there is a detachment that can happen when visits are conducted weekly in this manner.The jail can make video visitation for those that can not make it to the jail system, but are not offering this service until they feel comfortable with the service. When outside video visitation is offered, it will be at a cheaper rate than the traditional calling. To read more about this controversy, please click here.