Video visitation allows an inmate and visitor to communicate through video conferencing equipment which is very similar to Skype.
It eliminates inmate movement which in turn saves time and money. Lubbock County Chief Deputy Scott said it is even safer for the inmates and officers.
"You don' t have to pay the insurance or social security taxes in terms of manpower," said Lubbock County Commissioner, Bill McCay. "That's a lot of folks to have to get somebody to walk them somewhere. The whole design of the facility was to reduce the need for manpower."
The old method of face-to-face visitation required inmates to be escorted by officers from their housing area to the visitation area. This required more manual labor. With this new technology the city is saving hundreds of thousands of dollars due to less personal labor and through less taxes.
"It cuts down on the likelihood of contraband being passed. So it's a safety and security issue that we don't have to deal with anymore," said Chief Deputy Cody Scott.
Although video visitation saves money and is convenient for family and friends, as a lawyer, David Guinn prefers face-to-face visitation.
"If your grandmother was layed up in the hospital and you were in the same town as her would it say the same thing if you just skyped her or would it mean more if you were there," said Guinn.
Guinn added that there is a sense of hesitancy for his clients when they have viddeo calls because they feel they are being recorded.
"There is a nagging suspicion in the jail that they're being recorded, and even if they're assured they're not they are quite hesitant. It sort of inhibits some in depth communication," said Guinn.
There are currently one-hundred public visitation booths, one-hundred-and-forty booths in the cell pods, six secure attorney booths at the jail.