Video breaks down boundaries to bring family to those behind bars

24th April, 2012 - Posted by Kourtney Wooten - No Comments

CNN is currently taking nominations for everyday people that are changing the world. The individuals nominated have the opportunity to be selected as CNN’s Heroes and receive national recognition for the things that they do.

One of the heroes currently being profiled was a winner back in 2008, Carolyn LeCroy, who would use a video camera to allow prison inmates in California to record messages to the family members they left behind when they were incarcerated. Carolyn was rewarded for helping the other victims of crimes, the innocent children that go without mothers and fathers who are serving time.

Whether it’s adult inmates with children that they want to stay in touch with or juvenile offenders that could benefit from interaction with their parents, family interaction can be key for the rehabilitation process.

Carolyn’s program is a great way for an incarcerated individual to send a message to a child and to be a part of their life, but there are new ways that prisoners can correspond with their loved ones that are a bit more interactive.

A few years ago, the State of Wisconsin implemented a program that allows juvenile offenders to interact with their parents via advanced Unified Communications (UC) solutions, such as video teleconferencing (VTC).

Unlike Carolyn’s program, initiatives such as the one in Wisconsin can allow more than a message to be played, they can enable actual face-to-face communication. This kind of communication can ensure that incarcerated parents or children can continue to have relationships with their loved ones and have a support system in place during their rehabilitation.

Ultimately, VTC solutions can give the family members of inmates the ability to visit, without having to make the long trip to a correctional facility. This can significantly increase the amount of interaction inmates have with family since it’s easier, more convenient and far less expensive.

Also, as we’ve discussed in previous posts, VTC solutions in prisons can have other financial benefits for the government, as well.

VTC solutions can ensure that inmates in America’s prison system can continue to get valuable interaction with their families. By enabling face-to-face communication between inmates and their families, regardless of the distance separating them, VTC is helping the often overlooked victims of crimes, those that lose their parents or their children to incarceration.

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