Inmates at Allen County Jail no longer have a limited time frame – a few hours on certain evenings – to visit with family and friends.
New technology has broadened visiting hours to 8 a.m. to noon and 3 to 8 p.m. daily – but it can come with a cost.
Officer John Wiese of the Allen County Sheriff's Department explained the new setup – which replaces face-to-face visits and is similar to Skype or FaceTime – during a news conference Wednesday.
Wiese stood in the jail lobby, where visitors can communicate with inmates from 10 kiosks equipped with screens and handsets. Inmates use the same devices in common areas within cell blocks, he said, noting they are limited to three, 25-minute visits a day.
Visitors can use the on-site service for free once a week, with additional visits available for $10. That's the same fee charged to those using their personal devices to access the service, Wiese said.
GTL, a Virginia company that installs jail and prison communication systems, provided the local video system. It also is the jail's telephone service provider.