There will soon be video conferencing available in Sangamon County Jail. According to RipOffReport, the video conferencing, contracted by IC Solutions, will take the place of traditional meetings in a big open room with thick plexiglass separating the inmate from their visitor. Now inmates will stay in their cell blocks and talk to family and friends via a video screen while the family stays on the main floor of the county jail.
Sangamon Sheriff Wes Barr stated that this new system will be able help more families connect with inmates and that inmates will be able to receive up to five visits a week, rather that the standard two. Once the system is switched over to IC Solutions, representatives say that the price for calling an inmate in jail will be at a lower cost.
This new conferencing system by IC Solutions is under the same corporation as the Keefe commissary service, who offers commissary service for the county jail. When the new video service is installed, Keefe will also update the commissary service to a new self-serve kiosk system. These new systems will cost the county 320,000.00 for setup costs. The city will pay 160,000.00 up front and the other 160,000.00 will be paid to IC Solutions by taking the first 33 cents of every call placed. IC Solutions predict a projected profit for the county jail from $10,000.00 monthly to $15,000.00.
There are detractors that think this new jail phone services system which offers less physical contact with family and will increase the recidivism rate among inmates as there will be less love and emotion across a screen. Inmates will have to see children over a video screen instead of sitting across from each other. The new changes will take place in August.