SPRINGFIELD, Mo.–The way more than 700 Greene County inmates visit with their loved ones will soon be changing.
September 30th will be the last day for in person visitation at the jail.
Starting on October 1st, the only way for people to visit an inmate will be through what’s called a video visit. It’s a way of communication solely through a screen instead of face to face through glass.
The days where inmates could have 20 minute face to face visits with loved ones on a weekly basis are coming to an end. Soon those visits will be replaced with online communication only through a website called gettingout.com
“As we move toward the new plan of the jail expansion, in the new jail expansion, everything will be on video so what we’re trying to do is make some of those things happen before that time and get everything going,” says Sheriff Jim Arnott.
It’s a decision that Sheriff Arnott says his department also made to cut down on shuffling inmates around to the visitation location.
“Inmate movement is a big thing so when you move inmates, you have potential issues of fighting and contraband and things like that so it’ll reduce that and it’ll give more time for inmates to visit with family,” says Sheriff Arnott.
If you don’t have a computer, you can do a video visit using kiosks at the Greene County Jail.
“The intention is to make the system more efficient and to give more access to the inmates to be able to contact people from the outside,” says Sheriff Arnott.
But, attorney Tad Morlan says his clients want face to face contact with loved ones instead of communicating through a screen.
“Both sides, both my client and my clients’ families have expressed great disappointment with the new system. I think they understand that it makes it easier especially for the jail for that kind of system, but once again, it takes the personal feelings out of it, the personal thought of seeing somebody with the naked eye,” says Morlan.
The new change won’t affect the inmates’ attorneys. They will still be able to visit with their clients in person.
As far as the past technical difficulties with the video visits, Sheriff Arnott says those have been ironed out.