Correctional Facility Updates Looks to Improve Inmates’ Quality of Life
New Kiosks Provide Access to Communication and Education
The Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department is using technology to improve daily life for inmates and efficiency for staff.
Since March of 2020, the department has introduced 19 kiosks throughout the correctional facility, including two money kiosks and 17 video kiosks. These kiosks offer inmates access to a wide range of programs and services.
Family members can use the money kiosks to upload funds to an inmate’s commissary account. Inmates can use the kiosks to purchase snacks and drinks and access an electronic law library to research their case and prepare for their defense. They can also pay to call, video chat or email with family and friends, in or out of state.
“Since COVID has reduced visiting hours and appointments, this system of communication has been helpful for inmates’ relationships with family and friends,” says Sheriff Joey East.
In addition, inmates can use the kiosks for virtual hearings with a judge from the kiosk.
“This has taken away the risk involved when transporting inmates from the correctional facility to the justice court,” says Sheriff East. “Regardless of their crime, this is someone’s family member, and it is our job to take care of them and keep them safe.”
The kiosks have also helped the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department to be more efficient. With the addition, the department can work toward being a paperless and cashless organization.
In the future, the department has plans to help inmates continue their education by offering GED classes, and drug and alcohol programs via the kiosks.
“We want to help the people here succeed in the future,” says Johnny McDonald, Jail Administrator. “We want help them become a better person and be successful when they leave.”