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Marion County Sheriff Says Video Visitation Coming to Jail

August 31, 2016

Marion County Sheriff Rich Stevenson says visitation at the jail will soon be done through video conferencing. He told the Salem Lions Club Tuesday the move will eliminate a lot of movement of prisoners on visitation day.

“We are going to be getting I believe 2 monitors installed in each day room in each cell block and there are going to be 2 monitors in the front lobby. So family and friends can come in. The inmate himself goes on their monitor and sets up their own visitation schedule so the family knows when they are coming and they know when they can have their visitation.”

Stevenson says for a fee, that likely will be around $7.50, internet conferencing will also be possible.

“If they want to stay home and log on to their computer at home and do an internet visitation they don’t even have to leave the privacy of their own house. And again we are still monitoring these visits.”

Stevenson says any violations could result in termination of that visitation and termination of visitation rights altogether. He notes the internet visitation should be extremely helpful to federal prisoners who often are hundreds of miles away from home.

Stevenson says there have been some changes at the law enforcement center. Dispatchers have been moved to near the entrance so they can greet visitors. In the past, any communication had to be done through a speaker in the lobby. Stevenson says the move has also taken operation of all the doors in the jail away from the dispatcher so they can concentrate on phone and in person communications. The former dispatch area, now called the Command Center, is run by a correctional officer. It includes booking records in addition to being the control center for all the jail doors.

Stevenson says he’s also proud of the work his department has done in drug enforcement. He said in the year before he took office in 2014 there were a total of 62 drug arrests. In the under two years he has been in office, 261 have been arrested on drug charges.

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