DON'T STOP FACE TO FACE VISITATIONS IN ALABAMA!

DON'T STOP FACE TO FACE VISITATIONS IN ALABAMA!

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F Abdur LeShore started this petition to Alabama Governor and

Visiting a family member or friend who is in custody is an important way to maintain connections during incarceration and enhances the inmate’s success both while in custody and after release. The Alabama Department of Corrections use to recognize the importance of visitation and encouraged families and friends to visit as often as their circumstances allow. Despite this, new plans are set to end face to face visitation and they will institute video visitations instead.

Ending the face to face visitation will lower the morale of the prisoner and their loved ones. Despite the proclamation from the ADOC that the video system will increase visitation, it will actually cause a disconnect between the inmate and the outside world as many friends and family are unable to pay the fees for the video visit from home around $15 to $20 for 20 minutes and many do not have the ability to Skype from home at all. Family and friends of inmates are stating that driving to the jail for a non-fee visit vs one of the monitors in the jail lobby is not an option for them as they feel only a face to face visit warrants the cost of gas because the screen time "20 minutes" is not sufficient and/or comparable to face to face visitation of 45 minutes. Many of the inmates have children and these kids will have to face a future that, at worst, does not provide them with any visual contact or, at best, only allows them to see a parent on a video screen.

There is concern about the lack of privacy and safety due to how the video system is set up at the jail. The inmates will be using monitors that are located inside their housing unit where other inmates will be loitering in the background. Therefore, family and friends will be seen by other inmates and there is genuine concern that tension may arise when another inmate feels compelled to make a comment about someone’s mother, sister, or girlfriend/wife. Let me add, This isn't a problem with the face to face visits because only those inmates with visitors are in the room and they are focused on their own visitor. When the monitors in the lobby are used, any member of the public who walks in and out or is sitting in the waiting area hears your end of the conversation and sees the person you are talking to on the screen. It will make heartfelt conversations very much awkward. Also, apparently there are monitors in a separate visitation room for family and friends to use, giving a bit more privacy.

Initially, once the video visitation starts, the face to face "has to" end immediately. The most important issue is that video visitation is just not the same as face to face visitation. It is not comparable. The fact that this is not understood by those in charge is upsetting. Ending the face to face visitation will likely cause irreparable damage by not allowing the inmate to receive the moral and emotional support they need and this in turn will hurt their chances of success once they are released. It may very well be a contributing factor to future repeat offenders.

Any future use of the video system by those who are against the ending of face to face visitation, should not be interpreted to mean that their minds have been changed. It will merely signify that people have had to accept the fact that they have been given no other option and are resigned to having to use a video screen when they prefer face to face.

Video visitation is a great OPTION. It can benefit those who have family who are OUT OF STATE or those who may be too ill to travel to the facility. However, it should NOT be the ONLY OPTION. We as a community will pay the price for it in the long run. This is coming from someone out of state and I myelf still prefer to see my Husband face to face. 

  • Let's help one another and get this petition signed so the people with the higher power can end this, or at least keep face to face visitations with video visitations added on for those who find it more convenient, But I for sure don't like the idea. 
0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!