Posted Thursday, July 23rd, 2020
In-Person Visits Suspended Since March 16
Inmates at the Morris County Correctional Facility who have not received in-person visits in more than four months because of COVID-19 restrictions soon will be able to connect to family and friends through wireless tablets.
The county jail, located in Morris Township and run by the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, houses inmates from both Morris and Sussex counties. It has been provided with at least 85 Android tablets by GTL, a leader in technology and wireless solutions for correctional facilities.
Although inmates can telephone relatives and friends, the correctional facility on March 16 temporarily suspended in-person inmate visits with family to minimize the spread of COVID-19. The restriction has dispirited some inmates, said Warden Christopher Klein.
He noted that tablets will not impact county taxpayers. The cost of the tablet visit will be withdrawn from inmates’ commissary accounts by GTL. Inmates who lack funds will be allotted $3.75 a week from a special inmate welfare fund to engage in 15-minute virtual visits with relatives.
“In these trying times it’s very beneficial for inmates to have supportive contact with family,” Warden Klein said.
“At no cost to taxpayers, this program will allow inmates important contact with caring relatives who can help ease stress and isolation the inmates may feel,” added Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon said.
Beyond virtual visits, the tablets also can be used to access approved educational and entertainment materials and in-house request forms. When visitation restrictions are lifted, inmates may also use the tablets to virtually visit with relatives and friends who live out-of-state or cannot make in-person visits.
Corrections Lt. Michael Schweizer and Sgts. Raymond Dykstra and Shawn Johnston have been spearheading the tablet project and working with GTL on fine-tuning operational aspects.
Regardless of the criminal charges they face, all inmates will have access to the tablets as long as they are in compliance with Correctional Facility rules.
Family and friends who wish to make virtual visits with an inmate at the Morris County Correctional Facility can go to www.gettingout.com/create-account to create an account to access the video visitation. Once the account is set up, funds can be deposited at www.gettingout.com/deposit-funds