Magazine article Corrections Forum

Changing Times: New Technology Helps Prisons

Magazine article Corrections Forum

Changing Times: New Technology Helps Prisons

Article excerpt

The magic of telecommunications is that it can offer more than just telemedicine services. Ohio DRC uses the same equipment to conduct wardens' meetings, parole hearings at maximum-security units, and video-conferences with potential inmate employers. The department is also considering televisiting for family members and attorneys of prisoners on death row or in administrative segregation.

Televisiting is already being experimented with in the Missouri Department of Corrections. By teaming up with Sprint Communications and Kinko's, Inc., family, friends, and attorneys can go to their local Kinko's for a "virtual" visit with inmates housed in the State's Farmington, Jefferson City, and Western Missouri correctional centers.

Missouri officials expect the cost savings to be tremendous. Attorneys save driving time when they need to meet with their clients. And for those attorneys who are court appointed, this videoconferencing capability can save taxpayer dollars. One Jackson County attorney, instead of spending 2 to 3 hours visiting several inmates, called ahead and had the prison schedule his clients for conferences that only took about 10 minutes each. …

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