DALLAS, TX — All things are seemingly going “virtual” these days — virtual college tours, virtual trips to the doc, and even virtual visits to the jail house.
Yeah that’s right, folks can now chat with their incarcerated loved ones by using a wireless device or user-friendly kiosk.
Not in Dallas County.
On Tuesday, County Commissioners voted to scrap a 29 page contract that would have locked down the county jail with the video visitation program.
Securus Technology was set to install the system by the end of this year, but they’ve been dumped.
Commissioners called for a re-bid and new term agreement to take place on five other tech companies.
So while the county staff plays matchmaker, some DFW residents are calling the whole idea of online visitation “inhumane”.
“This so-called video visitation proposal meets the criteria for cruel and unusual– it isn’t necessary”, said Phyllis Guest.
Others say money is the issue and paying $10 dollars per 20 minute session will be pretty pricey.
“Many of these families don’t have Blackberries, smartphones, and computer terminals in their homes to allow for private video visitation,” said Terri Hodge. “The majority of our populations are minorities coming from families of low-income.”