Lake County Jail Inmates Now Have Unlimited Virtual Home Visits

(CBS) — Home visits for inmates? That’s right, in Lake County, IL. Home visits, with a caveat, via the Internet.

“Bye bye – talk to you next week,” said Juanita Shenault.

Shenault, two kids in tow, was at the Lake County jail visiting her son.

“He has a 3-year-old daughter and he’s been gone almost 2 years,” she said. “[Visits are] very important for him.”

Shenault said she’d love to do it from home and now she can.

“This program is very big,” Chief Jennifer Witherspoon with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. “We’re known for our inmate programming.”

From anger management classes, to now virtually unlimited home visits – versus the one allotted per week now. It costs the same at the in-house system, $25 for 30 minutes. It’s tantamount to pay per Skype that you can schedule online at the Securus Video Visitation site.

“What we’re looking to do is one they [inmates] leave here,” said Chief Witherspoon, “hopefully this will give them the incentive to stay away from crime.”

It can also bolster family – say the family doesn’t have to pay for their parent’s crime. Witherspoon said kids of inmates are 7 to 10 times more likely to be incarcerated themselves.

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