PostHeaderIcon Prison Visits From The Comfort of Your Own Home

Are you tired of dressing up, getting the kids ready, and driving several hours just to spend an hour or so chatting with your spouse using a grubby telephone from behind thick body-fluid-stained glass? Sure, the surroundings are pleasant—metal chairs bolted to the wall, all the roaches you’ve ever wanted to see, and orange jumpsuits for everyone. Oh, and the company is simply to die for, literally.

Now there’s a product that allows you to visit your incarcerated loved ones from the privacy of your own home. iWebvisit has created an online video conferencing system that, if approved by the corrections facility, works with all PC and Mac computers. No, it’s not the same thing as a contact visit, but it sure helps relieve the stress that’s associated with visiting a prison inmate.

Just think, no more standing in line with Charles Manson’s relatives. No more guards pawing through your purse touching things that should only be fondled by your own tender fingers. No more metal detectors, handing over your car keys, strip searches, dogs sniffing your body, officers watching your every move, or carrying change for the vending machines in little clear, plastic pouches. And, finally, there’s an end to meeting your spouses “friends” from cell block C.

So sign up today and visit the loved one of your choice.

Notice

- Only 25 days left until the Writers’ Police Academy! We still have room for you!

- Entries are pouring in for the 200 word short story contest. Have you sent yours? The deadline to enter is September 10. The Golden Donut Award sure would look nice sitting on your desk!

- TNT television is sponsoring an exciting contest to be held exclusively on The Graveyard Shift. Details coming soon! Prizes are really cool. Think Memphis Beat and Rizzolli and Isles. TNT is a sponsor of the Writers’ Police Academy. And, TNT Knows Drama!

*Sorry for the brief post today, but we’re experiencing internet troubles here in the Georgia swampland we’re calling home, for now. I think something may have damaged the connection outside. Wonder what it could be?

4 Responses to “Prison Visits From The Comfort of Your Own Home”

  • Les Edgerton says:

    Interesting, Lee. I can’t see it being approved, simply because it’s “online.” Can you imagine letting inmates go online? I think superintendents of institutions can and can’t believe they’d ever allow that to happen.

    I assume this company did market research, which makes me think they’ve had some positive feedback from some institutions. Just can’t believe America’s been dumbed down that much to allow prisoners to have any access online, no matter in what use.

    Wish they’d had something like that when I was in prison! (Hell, wish they’d had TVs in the cells when I was in the joint…) I can already see the things that could be done by computer-saavy inmates…

    I’d really like to know what firewalls or safeguards they think they can put into place to prevent inmates from utilizing this beyond its intent…

    There are so many things wrong with this concept…

    Interesting…

  • Lee Lofland says:

    Hi Les. Guess what? The system is already in use at some institutions. It’s not really an “online” type thing, and it’s monitored just like phone calls and personal visits. And, inmates don’t have unsupervised access to the system. They have to go to a designated area, like the visiting room, to use the terminal. Still, I see lots of trouble, like a girlfriend “accidentally” stepping out of the shower just as Billy Bob comes on camera.

  • Les Edgerton says:

    Wow, Lee–I had no idea! I guess I misunderstood how it worked. Just couldn’t see how they’d allow it if it was online, so glad to hear it isn’t. I’m still not able to grasp how it works–are the inmates seeing their visitors in their homes? The thing about the girlfriend accidentally stepping out of the shower made me think that. How can that work if it’s not online? (Consider the source for that question–I’m barely able to turn on my ‘puter!). Just having trouble visualizing how it works.

    As far as “supervised areas,” I can anticipate problems there. When I was in Pendleton, the easiest way we got drugs in was through the guards. Lots of ways if the supervising guard was paid off. For instance, in just one of dozens of ways we got stuff in then, was there was a guy in my cellblock who had a twin brother who visited him every month (no one could visit but once a month then, max), and we didn’t have phones then, but a big room with chairs in rows facing chairs in rows. You just sat across from your visitor and were allowed to hug them briefly (if you started getting carried away, the visitor’s room guard would warn you or end the visit), and this guy’s brother would sit across from him and during the visit, they’d switch shoes, surreptitiously. They each had hollow heels in their shoes and out would go the green from the inmate’s shoes and in would come the drugs in his brother’s shoes. Everybody in the place knew what was going on and his visitor had to only come when this particular guard pulled visitor duty (the guard let them know), as other guards wouldn’t do it. That was only one of dozens of ways we got drugs and other contraband in, and usually it was with the “assistance” of a guard. In those days, guards didn’t make much money–barely above minimum wage–and lots of them made money on the side dealing with inmates. There were righteous guards… but there were also ones who weren’t so righteous.

    Hey, Lee, I wanted to thank you for listing my website here, but if it’s not a lot of trouble, can you list my blog instead? I don’t use my website for much these days, but post on my blog often. If it’s not too much trouble and you don’t mind, it’s http://www.lesedgertononwriting.blogspot.com/

    I refer all of my writing students to your blog, particularly those who deal with crimes and police in their stories. They love it. As do I… this is one of the top blogs out there.

    Blue skies,
    Les

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