New booking procedures, virtual video visitation introduced at Larimer County Jail

The Larimer County Jail has been utilizing a new inmate intake center since May 2014. After an inmate is booked into the jail, they are sent to the intake center for monitoring and assessment where they stay an average of 24 to 72 hours. Inmates are then moved to a more permanent housing assignment.

The previous intake area was a traditional pod-style housing unit with double bunked cells on two levels. A second floor in the intake center created concerns regarding attempts at self-harm by inmates and for inmates with disabilities. The design also made it difficult to see most areas of the pod from the control room. Two correctional deputies per shift were assigned to the area due to these design shortcomings.

The new intake center is a one level, open pod-style housing unit. Inmates are assigned to bunks instead of cells allowing them better access to staff. The interaction between staff and inmates is consistent with the Larimer County Jail’s direct supervision model, both in style and numbers. One correctional deputy per shift is assigned to the new intake center and the design gives the deputy an increased ability to detect and prevent incidents of self-harm.

The Larimer County Jail has also implemented a video visitation system. Video visitation is a cloud-based internet system used to transmit video and sound over computer systems allowing more people the opportunity to visit inmates. Friends and family will be able to visit inmates without needing to travel to the jail. The ability to stay in close contact with loved ones is imperative to the mental health of an inmate.

Video visitation will be in beta testing the next two weeks and will be offered for free during that period. When beta testing is complete, off-site visits will cost $15. On-site visits will still be offered with the use of the jail’s video visitation equipment on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. only. Traditional on-site visitation limited inmates to two visits per week. The implementation of video visitation doubles the allowable visits per week. Video visitation lasts 30 minutes for most inmates while high security inmate visitation lasts 15 minutes.

Video visitation frees staff time previously used to schedule visits and move inmates to the visitation areas. Fewer on-site visitors and less inmate movement in the jail save time, money, and promote the safety and security of the facility, inmates, and staff.

For more information and to schedule a visit, visit www.ICSVideoVisit.com.

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