Giving Compass’ Take:
• Sarah Watson explains that some jails have replaced in-person visits with video calls, introducing technological challenges and hurting inmates.
• How can funders best help inmates access their families and community members to encourage healthy living in and beyond jail?
• Learn about the damage done by eliminating prison visits.
Jails are increasingly replacing in person visits with video calls. This high-tech fad goes against the recommendations of the American Correctional Association,the American Bar Association, and even the Department of Justice’s National Institute of Corrections. These jails ignore the many problems we’ve documented, such as high costs for families, poor quality of the systems and the loss of human contact. But there’s another liability that jails now have to consider: What happens when their shiny new technology fails?
Their vendors — who provide the systems for free in exchange for charging high rates to the families — will say that their technology is perfect. As every person who owns a computer knows, however, technology is not flawless, and these systems do fail — sometimes keeping people in jail from contacting their families for weeks at a time.
Read the full article about video calls for prisoners by Sarah Watson at Prison Policy Initiative.
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