Video visits at county jail should improve security, help prevent contraband

Wade Holland, of Three Rivers, talks about the drug comparison program
October 6th, 2020     Featured Government & Politics

Video system will allow visits with Union County Jail inmates

Families of those incarcerated in the Union County Jail should have more opportunities for visual, if not in-person, visits thanks to a plan approved by the Union County Board of Supervisors Monday.

Sheriff Jimmy Edwards plans to install a video system that would allow prisoners and family members to see each other and converse without having to be at the jail.

“It’s like Facetime,” he said.

There will be no cost to the county but using the system for phone or video visits will require a fee, part of which will come back to the county. They will get back 30 percent of the fee for phone visits and 10 percent from the video.

A terminal will be inside the jail for the prisoners and anyone with appropriate smartphones or computer systems can communicate remotely from anywhere.

For those who don’t have the technology or don’t want to use it, a terminal will be in the jail lobby for families to use. That use will be free.

The system is coming from Tiger Correctional Services, which also is handling the jail’s commissary service.

Sheriff says video system will improve security, help prevent contraband

“Any time you can keep from having to bring prisoners up is good,” Sheriff Edwards said. “This will also cut down on the risk of people trying to get contraband into the jail.” Edwards noted that prisoners have attacked officers in the past while being taken to the front of the jail and this system would help with that.

The video option can also be used for preliminary hearings or bond settings, which will save time and trouble. Prisoners are supposed to go before a judge within a certain amount of time after being arrested, but this could include, say, a long holiday weekend when getting a judge in might be difficult.

Rather than requiring a judge to come to justice court for a simple matter, it will now be able to be handled remotely, quickly and at any time or day or night.

The system will also keep records that are stored and can verify medical requests or other actions later if needed.

Three Rivers to help with Medicare prescription drug plan shopping

In one other personal appearance, Wade Holland from Three Rivers Planning and Development District, told supervisors about an annual program that allows citizens on Medicare to look at various Part D prescription plans during the open enrollment period and possibly save a significant amount of money during the coming year. The plan will be publicized more later.

In personnel, two changes were made at the Union County Jail. The board approved transferring Kayla Harrison from full-time detention officer to full-time assistant jail administrator, and transferring Scott Benson from part-time detention officer to full-time jail administrator.

In miscellaneous business supervisors approved:

  • Participating in a regional hazard mitigation plan with Emergency Management Director Curt Clayton as our representative.
  • Renewing a lease with Three Rivers Planning and Development District for the main AS-400 mini computer used by several county offices.
  • Advertising for a reverse auction to purchase new security cameras for the Union County Jail.
  • Declaring two fire trucks and one garbage truck surplus to be sold on the GovDeals auction site.
  • Deleting all the old sheriff’s department radios replaced when the county went to the new statewide MSWIN system.

Board will allow Emerald to assign lease-purchase agreement

Concerning industrial development, the board approved an agreement that allowed Emerald Mississippi to assign its lease-purchase agreement to an unnamed industry that might use the building on Denmill Road. Emerald ceased furniture manufacturing some time ago and has leased the space to another company for warehousing in the interim, but the company is up to date on payments to the county.

Supervisors authorize Sheriff to buy three used vehicles from Chicago dealer

Supervisors gave Sheriff Edwards permission to purchase three vehicles for his department. Edwards can purchase three used vehicles from Asia Motors in the Chicago area for $44,470. Although used, the vehicles have comparatively low mileage and are in good condition. County and city departments have been purchasing vehicles this way to get more out of their money for several years.

Deputies were to fly to Chicago Tuesday, examine the vehicles and, if satisfied with them, drive them back to Union County, being back Wednesday. Edwards said flying would cost less than $100 each for the three.

Tax Assessor-Collector authorized to remedy tax penalty reduction problem

Tax Assessor-Collector Tameri Dunnam got approval to deal with a minor problem resulting from action by Gov. Tate Reeves.

This year the governor reduced a tax payment penalty from 1.0 percent to 0.5 percent. For a brief time the county computer system charged a few property owners the higher rate before being adjusted. Dunnam said about 75 people paid 6.0 percent instead of 5.5 percent.

Now Dunnam will be able to pay those people back, if they wish. However, the total amount involved for the entire county is only $124 and most property owners involved would only get about $2 back so it is unlikely that many will take the trouble.

The next scheduled meeting of the board of supervisors will be at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 19 with the location to be announced.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

About NEMiss.NEWS

NEMiss.NEWS is a locally owned and operated online news magazine containing news, information, opinion, etc. of interest to residents of Northeast Mississippi. NEMiss.NEWS was founded in 2014 and is a division of Shivimage, LLC, and began publishing in early 2015. read more>>

Northeast Mississippi's Online News Source
%d bloggers like this: