FREDERICK, Md. (May 19, 2021) – From the minute the COVID-19 pandemic hit Frederick County, the leadership of the Frederick County Adult Detention Center (ADC) implemented changes to limit the chances of the virus hitting the inmate population. One of those changes, still in effect today, included no inmate in-person visitations. However, through the use of technology and Homewav video visitations, these inmates are still able to visit and talk with their loved ones, friends, and family.
“Since we brought the video visitation system online on July 28, 2020 and through April 12, 2021, there have been 60,186 video visits, for a total of 431,731 minutes,” said Capt. Tim Selin, ADC Administrative Services director. “That equates to an average of each visit lasting a little more than seven minutes.
“Additionally, there is an option to create and send video messages through the system and since that started in August 2020 and through April 12, 2021, there have been 13,739 video messages sent and received. Although in-person visitations are currently stopped, this system allows our inmates an opportunity to still visit and stay connected with the families and friends.”
The Homewav system was free to the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office and Homewav collects the costs through reimbursements received from the inmates and their families who want to use it. Pay Tel Communications, Inc., partnered with Homewav to provide video visitation and they completed all installation, cabling, and training.
From system implementation and during the majority of the COVID-19 pandemic, Homewav provided each inmate a free 5-minute call once a month. However, as the country is opening back up, these free calls ended on April 1.
The inmates can use these video visitation systems anytime from 6 a.m. through 11 p.m. during the day as there are approximately 25 units in the different cellblocks. There are nearly 15 more units in the ADC visitation area for families to come in and use free of charge, once family visitation opens back up to the public. The inmates use a handset to talk and the calls are private within the cellblock. The ADC staff monitors the calls to ensure visitors and inmates follow the rules they signed before using the system.
“This was a great system to use because I shared in life events with my family,” said Marcus Henderson, a former inmate. “My son turned 1-year-old this past December and I saw him on that special day because of the Homewav system. I used the system twice a day and appreciated the opportunities to visit with my parents, brother, fiancé, and my son.”
The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) is a full-service law enforcement agency; an arm of the court, and a keeper of offenders. In this regard, it exists to serve the more than 250,000 citizens of Frederick County with respect, fairness, and compassion. FCSO is committed to the prevention of crime; the protection of life and property; the preservation of peace and order; the enforcement of laws and ordinances; the safeguarding of constitutional guarantees; and safekeeping of prisoners. The men, women, and officers of this office nurture public trust by holding themselves to the highest standards of performance and ethics. The FCSO is located at 110 Airport Drive East, Frederick, MD, 21701. Visit www.frederickcosheriff.com for more information.