Jails Are Replacing In-Person Visits With Video Chats (HBO)

Jails Are Replacing In-Person Visits With Video Chats (HBO)

— Like many jails across the country, California correctional facilities have been
replacing in-person visitation with video calls, cutting inmates off from their only
real contact with their families. Tomorrow, Governor Jerry Brown could
sign a bill that would end the practice, but inmate advocates aren’t convinced he will— he’s vetoed similar measures before. Antonia Hylton went to Solano County— where some prisoners can see their loved ones, and some can’t. — Deborah Cudmore’s two children
are often in and out of jail. Today, she’s visiting her son Darren
at Claybank Jail in Solano County. Her son is only a few yards away,
but they talk through a screen. — How you doing? Hi, baby. — Increasingly, Skype-like video visitations are
replacing traditional in-person and glass visits. It’s estimated over 600 correctional facilities
in 46 states now use video visitation. — You look like you are putting on weight. You look good. You’re my handsome son. — It’s, like, only a year. You know what I mean? It’s not like I’m trying to take away,
like, years and years of your time. — It’s hard, Darren. It’s not easy. This ain’t easy for nobody, you know what I mean? 28, 25 seconds, babe! Love you. — Two of Solano County’s three jails
ended in-person visits in 2014. Sheriff Tom Ferrara supported the transition to video. Like many sheriffs, he believes it saves officers time
and reduces conflict in the jail. — It’s safer for the officers and it takes less staff. One: if you’re doing a video visit, you’re not going
to be able to introduce contraband into the jail. Two: you’re not moving the inmate. So if you can imagine moving
the inmate all the way from the jail— and this one’s quite a large facility. — What do you say to people or families who feel like the implementation of this technology
has mostly served the staff and the sheriff, and for us, it now has made our lives and
our relationships are less personal? — I don’t… that’s a difficult question to answer, because I see it so much on the other side,
where I’ve see the good that it’s done. So, if that was really really the mainstream thought, we would be getting all kinds
of complaints and grievances, and this and that, and we’re not. — But it’s also clearly about money: Solano’s video provider, iWebVisit, promises the Sheriff at least 15 percent
of their profits for the inmate services. Families have two options: pay $9 for every 30 minute call at home,
or drive into the jail and call for free. — When you’re making that cost benefit analysis
about this technology a few years ago, how much of the appeal was
the profit from video visitation? — Zero. Profit’s a funny word, but we need money
to go back into the inmate welfare fund, so we can fund some special programs for the inmates. — Could you run your services if you made zero on it? All of those services that it goes to. — No, I don’t think so. I’d have to reduce ‘em. So it really is for the benefit of the inmates. — Prison communications is a $1.3 billion industry financed by the fees inmate families pay. Some corporations charge
as much as $1 per minute for calls. Studies show more than one in three families
go into debt trying to stay in touch. — This, for me, is the most glaring case of market failure I have ever seen in my 18 years as a regulator. — Mignon Clyburn is a commissioner at the FCC who’s
fought to regulate the cost of prison communications. — Consumers might say, “You know, the families of inmates have been paying
for phone calls, paying for gas to go visit, for years.” “Why do I care if they’re now
also paying for video visitation?” — So when you use your communications
devices, you’ve got competition— you can go to a number of providers. But these inmates and their families— and I hate to use this word— they are literally captive. More than 70 percent of the local facilities
that have instituted this model, they no longer have or allow in-person visit. — How do you make the case to people
who are unconnected to incarceration, that they should care about how people
who are connected to it stay in touch? — You are paying every month, every year,
to keep this model that is broken intact. You don’t think it affects you, but that child who acts out, that might escalate. That person who comes home,
they might act out if they don’t adjust. These people don’t live on Mars. They live in our communities. — It’s Mother’s Day, and after a trip to church with her grandkids, Israel and Isaac, the family
is back home for a remote visit. This time with Deborah’s daughter Liz,
who is at another Solano facility: — Happy Mother’s day, mom. — Thank you, baby. I love you. — I love you too. — He’s coming. — Hi, mom. — Hey, baby. — Hey, mom. — I love you. — I love you too! — It’s hectic. Three people have 30 minutes to catch up. — Well, I’m doing this campaigning thing
to, uh, for president at school… — Yeah, there’s a lot of drama with that. — Do you mind me asking, what is this like for both of you,
communicating through this? — This is hard. I don’t like this. I’d rather see her face-to-face. — What’s it like for you, Liz?

You May Also Like

About the Author: Sam Caldwell


  1. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time. They had a choice, they got caught. In the older days b.c-present, Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles if both parents got killed they all helped raise the kids. They all taught them. Are Great-Great-Greats didn't have Internet, cell phones, cars they had feet or a donkey. And you didn't visit anyone in prison they where shot or hung BEFORE THE LAW COULD GET TO THEM. They have jobs in prisons, they make a wage. I know this bc my cousin is in jail now. He has a job! It's not much money in his pocket, but he buys food like candy, then he trades for other or more stuff & gives it to head man for protection. It's a fucking head game. You are trying to stay alive until your release date. Think smarter then fighting. You can't fight all the Lions @ once. You will be dead. I like the video system.

  2. people that say don't commit a crime so you don't have to go through this, are ignoring the fact that we have a massive incarceration issue in this country. in America's police state anyone can go to jail easily. "resisting arrest" can mean anything

  3. First of all this is a great system video calls could be used give inmates far more contact with the outside world and help integrate them back with society. But the calls should have cost instead a weekly allowance. And we shouldnt have in person visits removed. why it's a for profit system is beyond me, obviously we could do this for almost no cost apart from the installation of equipment

  4. That's so wrong and inhumaine to subject family's to Pay even more For less personal interaction. The Mail, Visits & Phone calls are the only beacon of light or humanity in an inmates Life or Incarceration Time and This seems to punish them even more as well as there family too. NO MORE WITH THE HORRIFIC APPALLING 4 PROFIT PRISON'S. If You Treat Someone Worse Then an Animal, Then You Will Undoubtedly Release a Monster or a Mentaly Unstable Angry Beast. So Much for Rehabilitation Ehh? & Trying to Lower Recidivism Rates, WHICH YOU WOULD THINK SHOULD BE THE GOAL OR MANDATE…? SMH!

  5. THIS is exactly why I love it when I see that pigs get killed. They are mostly cunts, some dumb fucks, mostly criminal cunts.

  6. Its a big problem when correctional facilities go for the For-Profit model….what they don't realize is that the lack of direct human communication with their own people can be really devastating for the inmates and in their ability to adjust to the civilian life after getting out of prison…..

  7. 0:50 look at how far they place the seat away from the screen they just try to make it as uncomfortable as humanly possible.

  8. It is sad. Also, books can't be brought to you anymore ( including religious materials ) .
    They have to be mailed to the jail directly from the publisher. Which is damn near impossible to get done.

  9. This is disgusting.. as humans we still need to treat people with dignity even if, someone commits a crime. Does no one think of the psychological effect isolation from love ones or even societal contact has on an individual?… Not all crimes are the same. If a child makes a mistake and then is subjected to something like this, what trust will he or she have in our system after such an experience?

  10. Now hopefully there will be less contraband snuck into prison. Finally we have the technology to solve the problem.

  11. Jails are for profit, many are privately owned. Cutting corners and selling commissary, what is the "cost-benefit-analysis."

  12. If Deborah's TWO kids are BOTH "often in and out of jail", she didn't know how to discipline them when they were younger. This happens too much nowadays.

  13. First of all, why do they even allow contact with criminals at all?
    They need to pay their time — in full — and deserve nothing!

  14. When you commit a felony, you forfeit your rights. You become a societal burden, and cost taxpayers money that could be spent on thing that actually matter (schools, infrastructure, etc). After the fact, society is liable for taking care of the family that is left behind (i.e. food stamps/welfare), and saddled with the cost of the persons incarceration. "Rehabilitation" clearly isn't working with the recidivism rate at all time highs, I think keeping the costs as low as possible helps out society as a whole and really who cares about these scumbags anyways?

  15. It's called prison for a reason, crime and punishment. When is enough, enough. what should be the level of treatment and who is going to pay for it because every thing is paid by the taxpayer to these lawbreakers and repeat offenders.

  16. basicly jails are profiting from prisoners, they are supposed to serve a sentence, instead they are treated like 3rd rate citizens,cheap labour and these private facilities are making millions of the private contracts to facilitate these basic human rights like human contact, food, water, entertainment. america wake up.

  17. We will be executing them like animals in a pound before to long! When your locked up you are treated less than human, and the correctional officers all love having power over people that nobody cares about. These motherfuckers are the most corrupt and power hungry individuals on the planet!! I spent 16 months in prison, I've experienced all of it first hand. People would be outraged if they saw what went on behind closed doors, and how inmates are treated. 99% of all the contraband in the prisons was brought in by the correctional officers, and outside kitchen staff not through family members at a visit. They are just searching for excuses to try and make even more money from inmates. A single pack of ramen was $1.50 for an inmate and .35 cents for anyone on the street, that's just one of the ways they profit from incarcerating people.

  18. Tear'd up at the end. How you about to make them video call them and not let them see them in person. That's so fucked up.

  19. Vice has a funny way of twisting things around to stir up people's hearts and minds. The prison guard said it right on point, the extra money is not for them or personal benefit, but for the benefit of the inmates. Nobodies going to go bankrupt over a nine dollar fee this is ridiculous!

  20. If you've never experienced this situation personally you have no idea how frustrating it is! It IS all about the MONEY!! That is not even a reasonable question, these sheriffs are ass holes. I understand that it's safer and easier, but there should be the option to choose which you want to do! Some people simply can't afford the price, and going all the way to the jail just to see them on a screen is not the same.

  21. I just hope that those in favor for this inhuman treatment of inmates, one day face these harsh conditions themselves so they'll for once step in the shoes of these people that have been stripped of their rights

  22. Props to any Norwegian citizens on here. Y'all government from what I heard actually gaf about y'all unlike Amerikkka smdh

  23. my boyfriend was locked up at both the downtown and claybank facilities. for years there has not been any contact visits, just behind the glass so his contraband argument is bullshit! I did appreciate being able to Skype visit when I was out of state though. solano county is a fascist county!

  24. its good to stop drug smuggeling into prison/jails, but they should rather do so they can use a computer from home so even poor ppl who cant travel far because of cost so everyone get 20-30 min phone/video call a week. dont know how much they get to call in usa, but in norway its 20 min phone call a week and 30 min if they are in a open/less restrictive prison/jail. and you can only get 1 visit in person or glas wall. or if they travel far then longer time during one day or over 2 days. but the inmates have to pay for all phone calls and it costs alot cause most ppl dont have home phones anymore so it costs aprox 3 dollar each week for 20 min. so not all can afford it. it would be better if ppl on the outside called from their home and payed but you still only get 20-30 min a week. that would help poor ppl and ppl living far away from loved ones.

  25. "Prison communications is a 1.3 Billion Dollar industry…." Try to wrap your head around that – its mind boggling. So when that sheriff says the decision to go with video chat isn't motivated by profit, well, you know he is being honest…. /s

  26. my mom was arrested because my dad decided to woop her ass and call the cops on her. she was denied a call and treated like she was subhuman. everyone talking about things they don't understand should be thrown into a jail where they can't hide behind a computer screen lmao.

  27. next will be high price from the love ones for the video call and cancelling video calls when ever they feel like it..and jakingof course

  28. he must have is head way deep in his ass rhinking drugs will stop by just chanving to video call..LOLOLOLOLOL start with corruption you dumd ass

  29. If you want a safer environment for officers and inmates, you should start rehabilitating prisoners instead of just punishing them.

  30. If you treat inmates less than human, you are training them to become less than a human. America, you are sick, your sickness is you tried to monetize everything in your society… sick!

  31. anyone else notice all of the people with grievances are black. hmmmm does that say something? I think it does

  32. "Profit is a funny word"… Lol yeah I bet it is you corrupt fucking pig. I hope you eat a bullet on your next shift

  33. Bullshit. They're doing that shit even where face to face visitation isn't even an option. Its called a non compete clause. All other forms of communication if its in person or not is thrown out.

    How can I sneak contraband between a sheet of glass and a phone line in Chesterfield County jail? You can't, but jails are throwing this out for the sake of making an extra dollar. I'll tell you how contraband gets in…the damn guards are sneaking it in.

  34. why is it that no one talks about how to solve the problem of a person committing a crime in the first place, how do we reduce crime? its definitely not by higher sentences. seems its all about profits these days!

  35. They just have to take those things that make a man cling to his humanity. Corrections across the country have become out of control.


  37. And we owe mass incarceration and for profit prisons to the Clintons. Remember that if Crooked Hillary decides to run again in 2020.

  38. Vice news….. haha

    The deciever, the devil, satan, baphomet, bhaal, etc is Vice.

    4.5 million people waste their time watching a channel made by a satanic luciferian piece of trash who wouldnt admit what they follow and why their channel is called vice and any answer you received would be a fabrication and lie because it would be itself of vice because the creator of this channel sold themselves to Vice for money and followers and a lack of ability and capacity to have empathy and sympathy for others.

    You will be prayed for whatever doomed demon runs this channel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *