Families and friends may now visit from the comfort of their own home computers with inmates locked up at the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center.
Sheriff Robert Arnold said Rutherford County is one of the first detention centers in Tennessee to offer the video visitation for families of inmates.
Families and friends, especially those who live out-of-state, may dial in for a 45-minute visit for 45 minutes. The first visits were conducted last week.
“It’s safer and it keeps movement down throughout the building,” Sheriff Arnold said. “We obviously don’t have enough staff to watch every pod on every shift.”
Families and friends who want to visit inmates must first register online athttp://rcso.seevizvox.com/vizvox/Visitor/VisitorRegistrationSimple.aspx. Click on Visitor Registration and follow the instructions. Visitors cannot be a convicted felon on probation or be an accomplice with the inmate.
People who don’t have a computer may register at the Adult Detention Center visitation lobby at 940 New Salem Highway inMurfreesboro.
Once obtaining approval, families and friends who wish the home computer visitation must call 866-380-7734 to set up an account so a video test will be performed to make sure the computer and Internet connection are suitable.
Upon completion of the test, video calls can be scheduled at anytime on Rutherford's Vizvox scheduling page. The customer must be approved by the Sheriff's Office prior to each visit. Additional funds can be added by contacting 800-682-0707 pending approval by the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office. They may visit between 8:15 a.m. and 9 p.m. daily. For more information, call Visitation at 904-3132.
“We are one of the first facilities in the state to implement this technology,” Sheriff Arnold said. “This reduces people from coming to the Sheriff’s Office and gives families the opportunity to visit from their own home. Some families are from out-of-town or out-of-state and can’t afford to drive to Murfreesboro to visit. This will allow them to visit their loved one in jail.”
Also, families and friends may schedule video visitation at the Adult Detention Center for free by registering on Vizvox. After approval, they may schedule visits online 24 hours ahead of the visit.
“Inmates are allowed two 45-minute visits per week,” Sheriff Arnold said. “We have 10 visitor stations in our lobby.”
Families and friends may visit between 8:15 a.m. through 3:45 p.m. daily, including holidays, at 10 visitation booths at the Adult Detention Center. Visitors must show their identification and will be directed to a booth where they will speak on a headset and view the inmate on a monitor. Inmates will visit from booths located in their housing units. It automatically turns off after 45 minutes.
Visitors cannot bring cell phones, keys and purses in the Adult Detention Center. During the visits, they cannot use vulgar language and must dress appropriately.
Families and friends may deposit money in the inmates’ accounts to purchase additional food, stamps, hygiene supplies and under clothing from the commissary.
Vizvox allows inmates to order commissary items, check their account balance, read inmate rules and file grievances that are sent electronically to the staff, saving the sheriff’s office on paper costs.
Lt. Chris Deal, who is facility coordinator, said video visitation prevents contraband such as cigarettes from being brought into the Detention Center because visitors are confined in one area away from direct contact with inmates.
“To be one of the first facilities to offer the off-site visitation shows that Sheriff Arnold has a passion about corrections’ safety,” Lt. Deal said.