LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) – New technology at the Lubbock County Detention Center gives inmates more opportunities to connect with family and friends.
When the detention center opened in 2010, all technology was up to date for the time. During those years, visitors were able to go to jail and video chat with inmates. Now people can connect with loved ones without ever leaving home.
“Today every piece of technology we have in the detention center is new,” said Chief Deputy Cody Scott.
In addition to a nationwide software change, the new technology includes an extensive update for the visit. Families can now reach their loved ones remotely in the detention center.
With the new system, you sign up for an account and can call home, send messages, video chat or send photos from your phone or tablet.
“That makes it better for those who have families out of town, out of state. You don’t have to travel to Lubbock anymore, ”said Scott.
Remote video visits cost 10 cents per minute, photos cost a dollar each, and each e-message costs 50 cents. There is a tablet for every six occupants, which can be accessed at certain times of the day in a common area. The tablets are monitored to ensure the safety of the facility. Video chats use face recognition, which obscures any part of the screen except faces.
“These tablets also have the option of having e-books. There are movies you can watch. Some of them are free, others are paid. So it made things a lot better, ”said Scott.
Scott says this creates a better environment in the prison and relieves stress for inmates and officers.
“A lot of the problems you have in jail are due to boredom, so this takes away a lot of that boredom,” said Scott.
The upgrade also changes the way email is processed in jail. Letters are now scanned and the photos are uploaded to the inmates’ tablets. Scott says this limits the possibility of contraband in the mail, which helps officials manage the facility.
Sergeant Shaina Hart has also tweaked the prison’s tracking and reporting system. Instead of manually entering the details for each inmate on the computer, an officer can report daily activities for groups from the palm of their hand.
“My project is the Spartan scanner. The main purpose of this is to make the work of our officers easier. They do their security checks. They carry out cell checks for the inmates. They do head counts, meals. It’s all stored in there, ”said Hart.
If you do not want to pay to use the remote services, the video visit to the detention center is still free. Scott says the upgrade increased the prison from 30 visitors per hour to less than five. To contact your inmate from home, you can create an account at SmartJailMail.com.
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