Magazine article Corrections Forum

It's a Small World after All

Magazine article Corrections Forum

It's a Small World after All

Article excerpt

Datapoint Corp., in partnership with Justice Systems, Inc (JSI), of Winter Park, FL, has installed the world's largest video visitation Center in Pinellas County Jail in Clearwater, Florida. This facility includes a 112-seat configuration designed to service maximum security inmate visitation at this 2,261-bed facility. The system will be expanded to accommodate additional visitation requirements expected as the result of the 793-bed jail expansion project now underway. "This video visitation system offers a number of benefits to both the Sheriffs Department and the citizens," stated Pinellas County Sheriff Everett S. Rice. "For our staff, it means improved security, a reduced risk of drug and other contraband traffic and a more productive use of our officers' time. For the inmates, the system provides an opportunity for extended visitation times, and for younger people, such as minors not previously allowed inside the jail, to visit the inmates. Visitors are also finding the visitation process a lot simpler."

No Taxpayer's Money

According to Sheriff Rice, the system was paid for from proceeds from inmate telephone charges and purchases from the jail commissary. No taxpayer dollars were used. "Sheriff Rice and his staff at the Pinellas County Jail facility intend to make full use of the flexibility of this video system," commented Duane Rutledge, vice president for JSI. "The system is accessible to the Public Defender's Office, the State Attorney's Office, the Detective Bureau and others, so that they can benefit from the cost savings and productivity improvements associated with the use of video communications. …

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