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Lockdown Software for Jail Visitation Scheduling
The project, taken on by the Meherrin River Regional Jail IT Department, was led by Guy Short, Director of Information Technology at MRRJ and include IT Technicians David Marshall and Jane Clark.
MRRJ has been utilizing a video visitation system from Renovo Software since 2012. Prior to purchasing the scheduling module with Renovo, visits were scheduled by the inmates themselves and the process was completely manual. They would write down their appointments on a weekly schedule log that was collected by the visitation staff. Upon implementing the online visitation scheduling system, changes were made to allow visitors to schedule their visit. The roll out to allow online and onsite visit registration began in August of 2013. The updated MRRJ visitation policy requires all visitors to register an account and schedule a visit via the visitation website located at https://visitation.mrrj.org/app.
Visits can be scheduled from remote computers, mobile devices, and via the kiosks located at the facility. They must be scheduled 2-7 days in advance. Providing visitors with the ability to schedule their next visit while still at the jail is an added convenience, particularly for those elderly visitors that do not have mobile or in-home web access and those that are unfamiliar with the system. The kiosks provide accessibility and allow staff to assist visitors with first time registration and/or scheduling. While visitation staff are still necessary, the system is streamlined and allows for efficient record keeping
and improved visitation policy compliance.
One kiosk running KioWare Basic Software is deployed at each of two MRRJ facilities. The kiosk allows access only to the visitation URL and allows users to register, sign in, schedule a visit, and enter payment information for certain paid visit types.
KioWare is installed on a touch screen PC mounted to the lobby desk in each of the MRRJ facilities. With the placement and accessibility of the locked down touchscreen PC, visitors can come into each lobby and schedule their visits. It is typical for visitors to schedule their next visit prior to leaving, while still in the Jail’s Visitation Center.
The hardware for the visitor kiosk is an ASUS All-in-One PC Series running Windows 8.1. KioWare integrates a barcode reader/magnetic card reader, the M260 E-SEEK, to allow government issued driver’s licenses and ID cards to be scanned for quick and efficient account login.
The simple, yet effective use of KioWare to lockdown touchscreen PCs for online visitation scheduling has worked well for MRRJ and their visitation staff. Additional updates to the software and software capabilities will continue to allow the visitation process to grow and evolve.About Meherrin River Regional Jail
Meherrin River Regional Jail is a multifacility regional jail serving Brunswick, Dinwiddie, and Mecklenburg Counties in rural Southside Virginia. It opened on July 1, 2012 and includes a main facility in Brunswick County and a satellite facility in Mecklenburg County. The Jail employs approximately 189 people. The Alberta facility is a 697 bed facility housing both male and female inmates. The satellite facility is an 80 bed facility. Both facilities are LEED certified under the US Green Building Council. The Jail offers personal and professional internet visits in addition to the onsite video visits. With visitation stations at both facilities, visits can be conducted between the two facilities across
a central network for an added convenience for the public.
Renovo Software’s Visitation Management Platform, VisManager, is designed to help jails and prisons improve efficiency, cut costs, and generate revenue through visitation. Renovo has aided large and small correctional facilities across the continent in streamlining inmate visitation for almost a decade. Renovo’s comprehensive system is used to manage and schedule on-premise video visits, internet video visits and faceto-face visits through a single web-based interface. With over 100 visitation customers across North America, Renovo continues to introduce next generation features and functionality.
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