By CN Staff
YORK, Neb.—A video visitation program was launched in late February at the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women (NCCW) in York. The pilot project is the second such program of its type to be initiated by the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services (NDCS) in as many weeks.
“COVID-19 certainly challenged our ability to have people come into the facility last year,” said NCCW Warden Angela Folts-Oberle. “In addition, we recognize that making the trip to York is not always convenient, especially in the winter months. Providing this opportunity for the women to use video technology to see their children and other family members and friends is something we definitely want to try.”
Video visits are conducted through kiosks located in NCCW’s housing units. Visits cost $10 for 30 minutes. Visits must be scheduled through JPay, which provides the technology for the program.
“Visits need to be scheduled at least seven days in advance,” noted Dawn-Renee Smith, deputy director for programs. “This will allow staff to ensure that all of the requirements around each visit are met and approved in advance.”
Recently, NDCS announced a separate video visitation pilot at the Work Ethic Camp in McCook.
“What makes this project different is that it employs JPay services, which are well-known to the inmate population and their family members. It has a fee, but it also has fewer limitations and allows up to 30 minutes of visitation time, which is a little longer than the program underway at WEC,” said NDCS Director Scott R. Frakes.
Additional information about both video visitation programs is available on the NDCS website: www.corrections.nebraska.gov. Visitors to the NCCW facility page will be linked to JPay where they can schedule a video visit.
“We are eager to see if these platforms live up to our expectations. Depending on the outcomes, one or both may be options for implementation at other facilities,” said Frakes.
“These programs hold great promise for supplementing in-person visits, now and into the future,” added Smith.