Due to Covid-19, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and a lot of state DOC’s have restricted facility access to all non-essential personnel. It is done to reduce the transmission of the virus to staff and inmates. Also, they restricted in-person visits from family and friends.
However, you do not need to be sad for not being able to visit your inmate anymore because JPay has a Video Visit feature and during covid-19, there are free video visits for you. How many free video visits do we get on JPay? Let’s find out the facts here.
The Numbers of Free Video Visits on JPay
According to the Department of Corrections, video visit is available at all DOC facilities where it permits people to be able to visit their inmate in a virtual way. To be able to take part in a video visit with an inmate, you need to be on the inmate’s approved visitors list. Then, you have to make a schedule for doing a video visit on the JPay website.
The length of video visit which is offered by JPay is 30 minutes and it costs $9.95. However, beginning from April 1st, the Department of Corrections cooperates with JPay to modify the video visit to increase the inmate access and decrease friends and family cost. So, here is what you will get now about Video Visit on JPay.
- The duration of a video visit is 15 minutes.
- Each user will get one free video visit credit per week. Note that credits which are unused do not carry over.
- The price of an additional 15 minute video visit is $3.50 each, so there is 30 percent cost reduction.
- You are able to schedule video visits on the whole and half hour. However, it is important for you to note that each facility has different video visiting schedules. JPay will direct you to the open visit times for your inmate.
- The restrictions of video visiting are still in effect.
On the adoptaninmate.org, it is also explained that there are three states which have applied changes to their JPay services to be able to help maintain contact between inmates and their families.
There is Louisiana Department of Corrections which has extended the maximum duration of phone calls to one hour. This new maximum phone rule goes into effect soon and will continue until further notice.
The next department of corrections is the Florida Department of Corrections. It has worked together to provide one free video visit starting on Friday, March 13, 2020 through April 5, 2020. One free video session credit is provided into your JPay account and this update will show when you make a schedule on JPay or mobile app.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections have cooperated to give one free 15 minutes video communication each week. Besides, they also have reduced pricing for additional video communications which will start at 4 pm. Starting from March 13th, 2020, one free 15 minutes video session credit is available in your JPay account. This free video session credit will be replenished every Friday. However, it will only happen if the current free visit was used. If you want to enjoy this feature, you have to make sure that you are an approved visitor with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. Any additional video sessions are available for 15 minutes and the cost changes from $9.90 to $3.50 beginning at 4 pm. The calls are shortened with the aim to permit more inmates to be included on the schedule each day.
How to Join a Video Session on JPay Video Visit
Before you join a video session in a video visit on JPay, you have to make sure that you have scheduled it on JPay before. Then, on the date of the video visit, you and the inmate must join the video session at the appointed time. Do you know how to join a video session? You are able to follow the steps below to join a video session on JPay Video Visit.
- The first thing that you have to do to be able to join a video visit is to open the JPay home page. On that page, you have to click on the Video Connect on the navigation menu.
- The next thing that you have to do when you are on the Video Sessions page, the “Start Video Session Now!” in the video session box of the session that you wish to join must be clicked.
- After you click on it, you will see that there is a banner which appears briefly as the video client starts up. In a small window, you will see the video image of your camera.
- When the inmate joins, a bigger video window will appear on the screen and it shows the video feed which comes from the device at the facility. When you and your inmate are connected, your session will start and now you are able to communicate with your inmate and talk about everything there.
It is important for you to note that you are allowed to quit the call early if you think that your conversation is enough and you can do that by clicking on the Quit button. However, if you do that, you will be charged for the full 30-minute call. Under certain conditions, you may be able to extend the call and you can do that by clicking on the Extend Call.
A Videogram as An Alternative for Those Who Cannot Use Video Visit
There may be some family and friends who do not have the important equipment to do a video visit or there may be some inmates which are not eligible for video visits. If you are one of these people, you do not have to be sad because there is a Videograms feature on JPay that can be your alternative. A videogram is a video in 30 seconds where you can record it with your smartphone and then you can send it to an inmate electronically.