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Inmates allowed visits via videoconferencing

Updated: August 5, 2013 6:29PM



VALPARAISO — Folks with loved ones at the Porter County Jail will soon have another visitation option by the end of the year — videoconferencing.

Securus Technologies, already a vendor for the jail, will provide the service at no charge, Porter County Sheriff David Lain told the Board of Commissioners during their meeting Tuesday.

The fee for the secure videoconferencing, which Lain said is similar to Skype, is $1 per minute, with a 20-minute maximum, the same time limit for in-person visits. Securus will install the necessary equipment at the jail for free and take a percentage of the revenue.

The rest of the revenue, Lain said, would go toward paying for technology at the jail. Lain doubts the revenue will be significant.

“This enhances the avenues of visitation,” Lain said, adding the videoconferencing will not replace onsite visits.

Lain expects more jails to offer videoconferencing as time goes on. The LaPorte County Jail has a similar contract with Securus.

“It’s probably just a sign of the way things are going to continue,” he said. “I think it will be fairly common in the industry.”

In other business, commissioners accepted a bid for $158,321 from Larson-Danielson Construction Company of LaPorte to remodel a portion of the county’s parking garage at the administration building on Indiana Avenue to store voting machines when they are not in use.

Larson-Danielson was the lowest of three bidders for the project.



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