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Coconino Co. approves video visits for prisoners

PHOENIX — The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office is changing the way inmates interact with visitors.

They can now interact via video.

The new web-based program will take the place of the current face-to-face system used at the Coconino County Jail.

“People can visit and talk to their loved ones over a video screen and never have to enter the facility,” said spokesman Gerry Blair. “The less movement, the less entry into the facility, the more secure the facility remains.”

But Blair said safety isn’t the only reason for the change.

“There’s a significant benefit for inmates who don’t have friends or family in close proximity of the facility,” he said. “It allows inmates to visit with loved ones wherever they might be.”

There is a charge to use the video system. A portion of the money will be used to pay for the new program and another portion will go to a special fund that provides services to the inmates.

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