The Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) is considering limiting inmates’ visits, claiming that there is not enough funding to cover the amount of staff it takes to oversee jail visiting rooms.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the DOC in Florida is allowing a private contractor to implement a program that will charge inmates and their families a fee to have video phone calls to their families.
“In 1935 the Supreme Court declared that a prosecutors job is more than merely winning every case by racking up convictions; it also included seeing that justice is done.” “Pressing Pause on Marijuana Convictions” NYT Opinion July 30, 2018
That attempt has frustrated family members and caused great concern. According to the article, one woman whose husband is serving a 25-year-to-life sentence said, “They’re reducing our days so they can they can make money on video visitation.”
The woman, who the Tampa Bay Times identifies as Jewie Tryon, also said, “Money is what motivates these people.” Inmates who are in contact with their families through visits are less likely to want to get into more trouble in jail, according to the Times. According to DOC spokeswoman Michelle Gladys, the video calls are not meant to replace in-person visiting but, to supplement them. “We value in-person visitations, we absolutely do. But given our current [financial] situation, this is our best option for safety reasons,” Gladys expresses her concerns to families for their worries and offers assurance that things won’t change drastically.