It seems that the Warden and the Freeholders are basically on the same page regarding online only jail visitation.
The county freeholders on Tuesday took the first step in realizing the county jail warden’s plan to convert visitation at Cumberland County Jail to an online-only system using web cameras.
By a unanimous vote, the freeholders approved a resolution advising the county purchasing director to pursue competitive contracting for a web browser-based video visitation system with 22 viewing stations for inmates at the jail.
I know that Balicki has been talking about this for a while, and there are no downsides. Video visitation frees up CO’s and manpower for more important duties – they now will not have to worry about searching and watching visitors of the county “guests”. There will be a substantial cost savings, if it only helps reduce overtime costs. It can actually expand visitation hours, and produce revenue.
I expressed concern over the concept of only allowing churches to host the terminals – that is a costly first amendment lawsuit just waiting to happen. It is not that churches such as Bethel in Millville who already host successful re-entry and education programs should not be involved. Republican Freeholder Kirstein also expressed concern about the churches only concept. It appears Balicki is flexible, as the important thing is to implement a workable solution as quickly as possible.