Internet visits come with a price at Wis. jail
- Associated Press
- February 18, 2014 - 10:50 AM
CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. — Inmates at the Chippewa County Jail can now visit with friends or family face-to-face via the Internet. But those visits come with a price.
The jail has installed new telecommunications equipment from Securus Technologies that operates much like Skype. Anyone with high-speed Internet and a webcam can dial into the jail's system to communicate with an inmate, instead of physically visiting the facility.
"They gave us new monitors and web-based visitations," Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk said. "We took the old monitors out, and Securus put the new monitors in."
The online visits cost $1 a minute with a $20 minimum, so even a 2-minute visit will cost $20, the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram (http://bit.ly/1hscEU7 ) reported. Chippewa County paid $2,000 for the system and Securus invested about $100,000, the sheriff said.
People visiting the jail in person sit at a video screen on the building's first floor and talk to inmates on the second or third floors.
Face-to-face visitations through a glass window actually are quite rare, Kowalczyk said.
"We still have face-to-face under certain circumstances, like if someone is going to prison," he said.
All video chats, at the jail and via the Internet, are recorded. Users of the Internet system must sign a form indicating they will abide by rules of conduct.
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