Video Visitation Coming to Portage County Jail
Starting May 24th, 2017, 21st century technology is catching up with the Portage County Jail. Inmates can now be visited by friends and family over the internet using a new video visitation system just installed at the Law Enforcement Center. Now from home, the public library, or any place that has internet access, using a smart phone, tablet, or computer with a web camera, inmate visits can be scheduled and conducted from practically anywhere.
Inmates will no longer be taken out of their housing blocks and escorted to a visitation booth to talk to friends and family through a glass wall and handset. A kiosk has been installed in each housing area, and inmates can conduct video visits at prearranged and scheduled times.
There is a small fee for visits over the internet using this new system, but visitors can still come to the Jail and use a video kiosk to visit with an inmate for free. Whether remotely visiting over the internet, or coming to the Jail in person, the visit must be scheduled after creating an account at www.VideoVisitAnywhere.com. All non-attorney conversations are subject to monitoring and recording for safety and security purposes.
The system was installed in an effort to alleviate some of the workload in the understaffed and poorly designed Jail. It also improves the safety and security for inmates and staff, by eliminating some of the unnecessary prisoner movements outside of the housing areas.
When someone visits a loved one at the Jail, they are missing out on seeing the outside world. Instead, they only see their family sitting in the visitation booth. This new system allows for limitless possibilities to include loved ones in your daily activities. It allows loved ones to interact with those that can’t travel to the Jail or let them share holidays with a group of extended family and friends. It allows loved ones to celebrate a child’s birthday or wish them goodnight. It allows loved ones to spend personal time with the kids without bringing them into the Jail.
Attorneys can also use this system to visit their clients without having to make a trip to the Jail, saving time, money, and effort. For registered attorneys, the system does not monitor or record any conversations.
The new system starts May 24th, and video visits can be scheduled starting now. After May 24th, appointments for onsite visits will no longer be taken over the phone, and must also be scheduled using www.VideoVisitAnywhere.com.
You can learn more about this system by visiting our web site at www.co.portage.wi.us/sheriff. Look for the “Visitation” tab under the “Corrections Division” tab, or click on the “Video Visitation” button on the Sheriff’s Office home page.