U.S. Department of Justice

Video Visiting in Corrections: Benefits, Limitations, and Implementation Considerations

Publication year: 2014
Thumbnail preview "The purpose of this guide is to inform the development of video visiting programs within a correctional setting. “Video visiting” is real-time interactive video communication which uses video conferencing technology or virtual software programs, such as Skype. It is an increasingly popular form of communication between separated family members in settings outside of corrections. The rapid expansion of video visiting in jails and prisons over the past few years suggests that video visiting may become very common in corrections in the near future.

"This guide will help inform administrators about the benefits and challenges of using some common video visiting models across a variety of settings. Video visiting can be a positive enhancement to in-person visiting, and has the potential to promote positive outcomes for incarcerated individuals and their families and communities. In certain circumstances, video visiting may benefit corrections by reducing costs, improving safety and security, and allowing for more flexibility in designating visiting hours. The value of video visiting can be maximized when the goals of the facility are balanced with the needs of incarcerated individuals and their families" (p. vii).

This guide is comprised of three chapters: why consider video visiting; implementation considerations; and evaluating a video visiting program. Appendixes cover: additional uses for video conferencing in corrections; video visiting with children; identifying a video visiting model; implementation checklist; and evaluation tools.