The Bond County Sheriff’s Department is using a new automated system to allow inmate visits with family and friends, take care of the inmate commissary and post bond.
Equipment has been furnished by Stellar Services.
Sheriff Jim Leitschuh said the use of the video visitation system will allow telecommunicators and correctional officers to focus more on their duties.
No longer do inmates have to be moved from their cells for a visit at the jail. Visitors can use the new system at the jail or at home. Inmates have tablets they use to see and talk to the visitors.
The sheriff said it is good for everyone involved.
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Inmates can use the visiting system, for a fee, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. For six-hour span on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the system can be used at the jail free of charge. State law requires one free visit time per week, but the Bond County Sheriff’s Department provides two days.
Chief Deputy Josh Hill said the response has been positive to the new visitor system.
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All visits can be monitored live or replayed if needed to be seen later.
Inmates can also have someone take care of their commissary account through the system, and a machine in the department lobby lets individuals come in and post bond using a credit card or cash. Bond can also be posted from outside the department through the system.
Eventually, the inmate phones will be provided through Stellar Services, according to Hill.
Sheriff Leitschuh emphasized the system was obtained without the expenditure of taxpayer money.