This information is re-blogged from Prison Policy Initiative.
I am re-blogging this, because there is an important human element being ignored by those in charge of the penal system. Video visitation takes away the human contact element from inmates and their family and friends. If the penal system continues to separate and alienate inmates, it becomes more difficult for prisoners to relate to people and the outside environment. It also becomes a hardship for friends and family, because it costs money for these video visits. Telephone calls have been prohibitively expensive for years now, and I would not expect this to be any different. If we intend for prisoners to learn how to exist in society, we can not allow the penal system authorities to separate and alienate prisoners from that society.
The for-profit video visitation industry has been quietly sweeping the nation’s state prisons and county jails. Unfortunately, in order to stimulate demand for their low-quality product, jails and video visitation companies often work together to shut down traditional in-person visitation rooms and instead require families to pay up to $1.50 per minute for visits via computer screen. With some notable exceptions, video visitation technology is poorly designed, does not work well, and makes a trying time for families even more challenging.
The Prison Policy Initiative and partners across the country have been fighting this industry at the local level, and now we are taking the call for regulation all the way to the Federal Communications Commission. In January 2015, we released the first comprehensive national survey of the video visitation industry.
Our new report:
- For the executive summary, see: http://www.prisonpolicy.org/visitation/exec_summary.htmlFor the report, see: http://www.prisonpolicy.org/visitation/report.html