Jail visitation system develops issues, county accommodates - WNEM TV 5

Jail visitation system develops issues, county accommodates

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SAGINAW COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

There are 450 inmates sleeping in the Saginaw County Jail.

Their crimes range from misdemeanors to murder.

"You know, haven't been able to give him a hug or anything in the last year,” said Theresa Lister.

Lister's brother is one of those inmates. He's waiting to be transferred from the Saginaw county jail to prison to do 12-30 years on a manslaughter conviction.

She is trying to see him as much as possible. But she said she's had problems with the jail's visitation system.

"I know there's a lot of other families that would like this issue resolved so they can visit their loved ones," Lister said.

Earlier this year, the county installed Securus video monitors allowing families to connect with inmates over the internet from their home or from the jail.

So, what's the issue? TV5 is asking the tough questions of Saginaw County Sheriff Bill Federspiel.

"There was an interface issue with our computer system on the company's end," Federspiel said.

He said last week, the issue affected families who tried to connect into the visitation system from their homes.

"It's a difficult thing, obviously, there are people who want to communicate with their loved ones, and we didn't anticipate there'd be an interface problem over the holidays," Federspiel said.

The sheriff said the problem has impacted three families since Thursday, but those families were accommodated by showing up here at headquarters to visit their loved ones.

Federspiel said this afternoon, the problem with remote visitation has been resolved.  

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