BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Inmates at the Erie County Holding Center and the correctional facility will now be able to visit family and friends by video, and the Erie County Sheriff's Office says they hope it will cut down on attempts to bring in contraband.
The program stems from the sheriff's office signing a new agreement for telephone services last year with ICS Solutions, according to a news release. The agreement included the video kiosks being installed in housing centers in the lobbies of the Erie County Holding Center and correctional facility.
Family and friends can schedule video visits 24-hours in advance. Inmates are notified of visitation requests and are able to decline.
It costs $12.50 for each video call, and the video calls can last up to 25 minutes.
The sheriff's office says they tested the video visiting software for a week and didn't find any issues with it. They say about 75 people have already created accounts to use the service, since it was initiated about a week ago. One video visit is available per day, seven days a week, and it can still be utilized even if the facilities are closed.
Family, friends and professional visitors can register and access the video visitation software at www.icsolutions.com. There is also an ICS mobile app that can be downloaded from the Google Play store.
The sheriff's office says they hope offering this service not only encourages better behavior among inmates, but that it also curbs attempts to sneak contraband into facilities.
The Chautauqua County Jail installed a video visiting service from the software provider GTL in January.