Miller Co. jail first in AR with virtual visitation - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Miller Co. jail first in AR with virtual visitation

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The Miller County Correctional Facility has become the first lockup in the state of Arkansas to provide a video visitation system for inmates and their families.

"A family member will be able to view him via this computer and the inmate will be able to view the family member via their computer," explains Miller County Warden Marty Brazell.

Brazell says the new system will expand visitation hours while saving money and improving security in the county jail.
"Let's face it, visitation in a detention center with its inherent security issue is not always comfortable on families and especially young children," says Miller County Sheriff Ron Stovall, who says taxpayers will not be footing the bill for this service.

Individual inmates will pay $15 per call, a savings to the county and family members who live out of the area. Stovall says, "It is not uncommon for me to get four or five calls a week of people driving in from out of state."

One system is located in each cell pod. However, Brazell says the new program will not replace on-site visitation using the in-house phone system, and it will be just as closely monitored. "It is monitored by us and there is no expectations for privacy by an inmate unless it is of legal issues."

Where on-site visitation is only available a couple of days out of the week, virtual visits are available 7 days a week, between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. They are limited to 15 minutes per visit.

Sheriff Stovall says each day, approximately 250 inmates are housed at the Miller County Correctional Facility. They are hoping the new video system will cut physical visitation to the facility by as much as 50%.

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