New jail encounters issues with video visitation system

ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - Delta County Sheriff Ed Oswald said things got off to a rocky start with the move to the new jail facility, especially with the new video visitation system.

At the new facility there is only video visitation, versus in-person through-the-glass visitations at the old jail.

Oswald said the visitation system didn't work right away, but that it is now up and running.

"We've made a lot of headway in the past week. We started out with quite a few problems. The first week was serious problems with a lot of the system not working. Every day it's just little hiccups and we're really finding out what our priority is. We want the inmate to be able to visit their family,” Oswald said.

With the new system, families and friends can visit with inmates by using their cellphones or computers and tablets. A lot of the issues, Oswald said, were issues with families trying to figure out how to register with the system.

Oswald added that the new system makes the jail safer for staff and inmates, and that it cuts down visitation wait times.

“They can visit right over a phone. You can show [inmates] what’s going on and they can be there for birthday parties, you know, there’s a lot of things an inmate can be there for,” he said.

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