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Government/Politics

Bexar County Jail Switching To Video Visitation

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Eileen Pace
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Beginning Sept. 3, people who want to visit inmates at the Bexar County Jail will do so via video from a different location.

Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Rosanne Hughes, said the video system is expected to be easier on families than in-person visits previously held a few at a time at the Bexar County Jail.

"It’s not really a place for children; it’s not family-friendly. We’ve got an average inmate population of roughly 3,500 people, and it is common for people to have to wait 6 to 8 hours in our lobby waiting for a 20-minute visit with their incarcerated loved one," she said. 

The new video visitation facility is located about two blocks from the county jail.

Although there has been some push back from inmate advocates, Hughes said video-visitation is the industry standard and it puts Bexar County in line with what other counties that have been doing it around the country for a long time.

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Credit Eileen Pace / TPR News
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TPR News
Family members would previously visit Bexar Co. jail inmates across a thick plexiglass window from this room, shared by several other families. Officials say video visitation offers each family more privacy and space.

The jail houses inmates for an average of 42 days.

The project will be phased in to include attorneys by November 2016.