Monroe County’s inmates could be making family visits via video if a project proposed by jail commander Bill Wilson receives council funding.
The proposal includes revamping the jail’s visitation system by replacing the six current visitation rooms with 18 new video visitation sites-one in every cell block, which would reduce the work and time needed to move offenders in and out during visiting hours.
Those who require face-to-face visitation would be taken to upstairs conference rooms. Other proposed improvements included expanding the jail’s kitchen and remodeling the laundry room-two more changes that Wilson told council members could put off the need to build a new facility.
Council president Vic Kelson said that’s just the kind of thing the council wants to hear.
“Realistically, if you’re going to be as optimistic as possible, we’re looking at five or ten years before we would have a new facility if we set out to build a new facility today,” Kelson said. “These problems are here now. We have families that wait very long times to visit their loved ones that are in the jail and we have operational issues to be dealt with, so I think it’s a terrific thing to do.”
Renovations would be funded by about one million dollars taken out of a pending two million dollar general obligation bond. The Monroe County Council will consider the proposal next week.