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For A Price, Catawba Jail Visits Now Can Be Done Without Leaving Home

Visiting inmates at the Catawba County jail no longer requires a trip to the actual jail, but it’s going to cost you 50 cents a minute.  People who want to talk with their loved one or friend can pick a time, then sit at their home computer, and talk through video software. 

It’s not so different from what visitors did before.  A few years ago, the jail did away with face-to-face visits and set up monitors at the jail so visitors could talk through video. 

Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid says even coming to the jail is intimidating for people.  Now, he says visitors don’t have to worry about that. 

The family, especially if they have young children that they couldn’t bring down to the detention center to visit, now they can sit in their own home in that environment, and visit with their friend or relative, whoever it might be,” says Reid.    

Reid points out the new video visits make it possible for family who live far away from the jail to check in on inmates regularly. 

Inmates can visit with people as many times a week as they like.  Although the one thing that may limit that time is the 50 cent a minute charge.  A third of that will go to the Sheriff’s department and the rest to the company HomeWAV which created the video visitation system.   

Lisa Worf traded the Midwest for Charlotte in 2006 to take a job at WFAE. She worked with public TV in Detroit and taught English in Austria before making her way to radio. Lisa graduated from University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in English.