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Westchester's Tech Whizzes Lauded For Inmate Video Visitation System

The county's tech department is being nationally recognized for a new video visitation system that will benefit both inmates and others, as well as save the county money, said Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.
The county's tech department is being nationally recognized for a new video visitation system that will benefit both inmates and others, as well as save the county money, said Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. Photo Credit: Westchester County Government

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Westchester’s tech whizzes will be honored by “CIO” magazine for developing a system that lets prison inmates “visit” with family members or probation officer electronically.

County Executive Rob Astorino said the county’s Department of Information Technology’s first-of-its kind video visitation system has gained recognition from “CIO,” a magazine for those in the information technology field.

“Our technology team does a terrific job of expanding services, maximizing efficiencies, and saving taxpayer money,” Astorino said.

The system allows family members, and others, who might not be able to travel to the county jail because of the distance, poor health or economic reasons. They can now visit from their home computer or from a kiosk at a designated community location.

The system also will enhance security at the jail, improve efficiency, reduce transportation costs and increase inmate access to information, such as their commissary balance, bail amounts and court dates, Astorino said.

It also will benefit the children of inmates, he said, by shielding them from the harsh realities of prison while allowing them to see and hear their mothers and fathers.

It will save about $320,000 in transportation costs for probation officers and pre-trial staff who now have to travel back and forth to the jail, Astorino said.

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