Detention Center Enhances Visitation With Inmates
The Lexington County Detention Center will conduct citizen visits with inmates exclusively via video visitation effective on Monday, July 14 in order to expand visitation hours for inmates and maximize the number of housing units for which visitation is offered for inmates.
Lexington County Sheriff A. Lewis McCarty said the exclusive use of video visitation for citizens to visit with inmates housed at the Detention Center will enable the facility to expand visitation hours by one hour on weeknights. It also will enable visitation on weekends to be conducted for inmates in all 14 housing units at the Detention Center, compared with the two housing units in which inmates currently are able to conduct visitation on weekends.
Inmates in seven housing units at the Detention Center have conducted visitation exclusively via video visitation since the Detention Center implemented the video visitation system on November 29, 2012, McCarty said. In 2013, inmates at the Detention Center conducted 15,675 video visitations. So far this year, inmates at the Detention Center have conducted 13,127 video visitations.
Inmates and their relatives increasingly have chosen to conduct video visitations, McCarty said. During the week of June 30 through July 4, 245 slots were available for inmates to conduct in-person visits in the visitation room at the Detention Center. Of the 245 slots available, inmates signed up for only 82 in-person visits, which were conducted through a glass window that does not allow inmates and visitors to have contact with one another. During the same time period, inmates conducted 348 video visitations.
Effective on Monday, visitation hours at the Detention Center will be 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday, McCarty said. On Saturdays and Sundays, visitation hours will be 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Video visitation with inmates at the Detention Center can be conducted from any computer that is equipped with a web camera and from any location where there is high-speed Internet access, McCarty said. Citizens can schedule video visitations online via a computer or smart phone by accessing https://securustech.net/.
Video visitations that are conducted via a computer at a home or some other location can be conducted during the same time periods on weekdays as video visitations that are conducted at the Detention Center, McCarty said. On weekends, video visitations that are conducted via a computer at a home or some other location can be conducted between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday as well as 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Citizens who do not have access to a computer with high-speed Internet service and a web camera can conduct video visitations at the Detention Center during scheduled visitation hours at seven booths that are available for video visitations, McCarty said. The Detention Center is in the process of adding seven additional booths at the facility for video visitations. Citizens also can schedule video visitations at the video visitation booths at the facility.
Video visitation that citizens conduct with inmates at video visitation booths at the Detention Center will be limited to 20 minutes, McCarty said. Video visitation that citizens conduct with inmates via a computer at their home or some other location can be conducted in 20-minute intervals or 40-minute intervals.
Citizens who conduct video visitations with Detention Center inmates via a computer at their home or some other location can have children younger than age 12 participate in the video visitation, McCarty said. Children younger than age 12 were not allowed to participate in personal visits that were conducted with inmates at the Detention Center, and children who are younger than age 12 also will not be allowed to participate in video visitations at the Detention Center.
Inmates at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Columbia and the Sheriff Al Canon Detention Center in North Charleston already conduct visits with citizens exclusively via video visitation, McCarty said. Lexington County Detention Center supervisors informed inmates at the facility about changes in the facility’s visitation policies and procedures earlier this week.