KCSO to implement inmate video visits

KCSO to implement inmate video visits

KCSO officers conduct a mock inmate video call. KCSO officers conduct a mock inmate video call.

6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - People visiting inmates at the Knox County Detention Facility will soon only be able to see the prisoners through a video conversation.

It's part of the transition to video visits at the facility.

The Knox County Sheriff's Office is in the trial phase for the video visits, testing it out on some inmates and their loved ones.

They're hoping to roll out the full implementation by mid-April.

At that point, visitors will no longer be able to see inmates at the detention center.

Visitors will have to pay $5.95 for each 15 minute video call, but those unable to pay the fee will be able to use a communal kiosk instead.

Inmates are allowed four 15 minute video calls a week.

The Director of Corrections for KCSO, Rodney Bivens, said the office signed a contract with a vendor about a year-and-a-half ago and since then they have been working on things like wiring the facility and getting the kiosks ready.

Bivens said he believes the video visits will help cut back travel cost for family members, decrease traffic at the detention facility and provide a calmer environment for children to visit loved ones behind bars.

"To me, this is a way of giving the family a chance to say, ‘I made a mistake one time and I messed up and I'm having to pay that price for it, but my kids don't have to know that,'" Beings said.

The video calls are recorded and anything incriminated can be used against the inmates.

The Bounty County Sheriff's Office said they are also looking into starting video visitation there but haven't started any implementation yet.

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