“Conditions behind bars” Screening visitors: Prisons profit by stopping family visits


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,,,,Conditions behind bars

Screening visitors

Prisons profit by stopping family visits

No touching allowed

“I KNOW that my son is moving and talking on the other side of the screen, but when the video freezes you have to start the conversation all over again,” one mother says. She is in Rhode Island; he is almost 2,000 miles away, in jail in Hays County, Texas. “The picture is grainy and I can never see how he really is,” she explains, “but these sessions mean a lot because I’m so far away.”

A new study by the Prison Policy Initiative finds that families with relatives in 511 lockups across America are in a similarly bleak situation. Some 386 jails—about 12% of the total—offer “video visits”. Peter Wagner, one of the study’s authors, calls the spread of these services “a scandal” that…

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