Tuesday, 14 November 2017 11:51

Hancock County Jail video calling a plus for jail, inmates and families Featured

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ELLSWORTH - A new system at the Hancock County Jail in Ellsworth allows inmates to see their families beyond the confines of their jail cells.

"It really has opened up the door for them to be able to see family, friends and people who are outside of the state. Where they don't have to travel directly to the jail to see them." said Hancock County Sheriff's Lt. Frank Shepard.


Thanks to Securus, families will be able to visit their loved ones, at any time and anywhere.


Lt. Shepard added "We've allowed them to have this video visitation to communicate with them, to see many of the landmarks of their children. Whether it's their birthdays or holidays."


The video visitation systems is not being funded by tax payers. It's coming from portions of the inmate benefit account. Money being used to call inmates is also going back into the account.


Each common room at the jail has a video visitation system.


Lt. Shepard said "It really offers a connection with the outside. They don't have to be confined to these far walls. They can see what's going on in the world and have that connection with their friends and family that they really need."


The jail discontinued full contact visitations although they can still visit from behind a glass window. Officials believe this new system will provide inmates with more opportunities to be with their loved ones on special occasions and could help them transition back into the real world again. 


"Security wise, it's extremely safer and it's really quite easy to use. We're really pleased with the system," said Lt. Shepard.


According to officials, the new video systems are a big hit among inmates. In fact, some use it daily. Inmate Matthew Williams said "It's much better than just talking to them. It makes it more personal and intimate. It keeps you more in touch with your family, be able to see them and be a part of their everyday life. They can take us where ever they go."