Internet Visitation Means Safety And Revenue [AUDIO]
Cape May County has become the first in New Jersey to launch internet visitation for inmates with their loved ones. The system works like Skype where families pay a $10 fee to chat over the internet through a video screen.
"Since the implementation last May, assaults on our officers are down 36 percent," said Cape May County Sheriff Gary Schaffer. "Inmates no longer have to be moved out of the day room throughout the facility for visits which makes for a safer environment. We don't have gang members crossing over with other gang members. There is less chance for things to be smuggled in."
"Inmates are allowed three visits per day which is more than they've gotten before because prior to internet visitation, they were lucky if they got one visit per week," said Schaffer. "Plus they can visit with more than one family member at a time and they can be conferenced in from anywhere."
The county received 48 percent of the revenue raised from the video chats. "We came up with the ten dollar fee because we figured the time you spend on gas and tolls getting to the county jail, it'll cost about ten dollars anyway."
Cape May County has collected about $8,000 in revenue since the system went live in May. Other counties and the State Department of Corrections are beginning to look into the system for New Jersey's nine state prisons. "This is no question the wave of the future," said Schaffer. "It's a win, win, win for everyone involved."