Visiting Bexar County Jail inmates just got easier for families. There are more than 200 portable and stationary video cameras that will be used for visitation. It cost a little more than $6 million dollars. Sheriff Susan Pamerleau said it will be much easier and faster to see your loved ones in jail.
Through a monitor and camera you can talk with and see your loved ones. "We're not going from a contact visit to a non-contact visit. This is hi def video. Some people were concerned about the quality," Sheriff Pamerleau said.
The new facility just a block away from the jail at the south annex detention center. "In jail as compared with someone in prison our average length of stay here is 42 days but even in those days it’s important to keep that connection with families," Pamerleau said. Families have to register online or at the visitation center. There are 68 cameras in the center, all of which give you a 20 minute time cap to talk with an inmate. Sheriff Pamerleau said by law the sheriff's office has to offer two visits per week. More will be allowed if time slots are available.
"There are a lot of people who don’t have the opportunity to come because of how difficult it is for them to spend an entire day waiting for a 20 minute visit," Pamerleau said. It’s still not clear how long visitors will have to wait for a visit now, but the sheriff says it will be much quicker. An extra day has also been added for visitation. So you can stop by Saturday through Wednesday.
"It increases opportunities for visitation by 141% over what we're available to provide today," Pamerleau said
The new visitation center will open Sept. 3.
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