Home > VDOC (Virginia Department Of Corrections)

Let’s fight against the system that makes us the visitors be treated like criminals. VFFVR is a

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You can Get involved by:

Step 1: write a letter, or the use the letter below and fill in the blank(s) yourself.

Dear Harold Clarke,
My name is______________ and I’m a concerned citizen writing you about VADOC’s new visitation policy. If I decide to visit someone in a VADOC prison it will take me _____ hours. I am not pleased with the fact that once I am searched and allowed to enter the visitation room If I feel the urge to use the bathroom I will have to decide whether to “hold it” or subject myself to being fondled again. If I am searched and allowed to enter once I arrive then why am I being searched again if I’ve never exited the facility? As a citizen of the United States I have a Constitutional right to visit someone in a state prison. I should be able to enjoy this right without having to be subjected to beleaguering acts arbitrarily. I am not a criminal as my successful clearing of the visitation background check indicates. And I don’t like being treated like a suspect in a crime. I understand that the VADOC has to maintain the safety of both the public and persons housed and working in the prisons, but this policy goes to far. I am asking you as a public official to please consider rescinding this policy. Your time considering my concerns are greatly appreciated.

Respectfully,

_________________

Step 2: Mail your email to “all” of the following:

Step 3: Send an email to the warden of the prison where your loved one is housed.

For example at Buckingham Correctional Center email warden Rodney Younce as follows:

Together we can change this arbitrary policy. Exercise your right today!✏📩✉

The fourth amendment requires reasonable suspicion to search a prison visitor. This means prison officials “must point to specific objective facts and rational inferences that they are entitled to draw from those facts in light of their experience” “Inchoate, unspecified suspicions fall short of providing reasonable grounds to suspect that a visitor will attempt to smuggle drugs or other contraband into the prison.” “such insubstantial `hunches’ based on individual perceptions rather than independent, articulable facts only invite intrusions on fourth amendment rights.”

Generalized suspicion is not enough, prison officials must have reasonable cause to believe that drugs or contraband will actually be concealed in the particular place they decide to search. Physical proximity to, or association with another person suspected of smuggling activity does not provide an independent basis for a strip search. In this case, the court held that an uncorroborated, anonymous tip did not satisfy the reasonable suspicion standard and thus violated the fourth amendment.

Need Help to Visit Your Loved One?

http://www.afoi.org/services/transportation.html

What are your thoughts?

Rapid spread of for-profit, pay-per-view systems monetizes contact between detainees and their families. The Virginia Department of Corrections offers the opportunity for family or friends of offenders to meet remotely through a Video Visitation Program.

They suggest that Video Visitation makes it easier for some visitors to meet with their incarcerated family or friends without having to invest the time and money in traveling long distances.

The PPI has become aware of at least 25 additional jails that have implemented the technology. Once video visitation systems are in place, most jails eliminate in-person family visits, securing a captive market for private firms.

Is this in your opinion a adequate trade off to contact visits?

👍“With face-to-face visits, there’s just a sense of that person sitting across from you. You see their chest rising and falling. You can see them crying … There’s just that psychological validation of someone taking the time to be there with you,” he said.

👎In video visitations, by contrast, “what’s going on there is a further distance. You’re creating frustration and anomie for the people who are incarcerated, and then we’re returning them to the community. And I think we’re doing a disservice not only to the people who are incarcerated but to the community to which they’ll be returned,” he said. “Nothing good comes from that humiliation.”

↘How Video Visitation Works:↙

First, an offender must be eligible for video visitation by meeting the following corresponding standard based upon their assignment security level.

➡Security Levels 1, 2, or 3: no restrictions

➡Security Levels 4 and 5: offender must be 6 months infraction free

➡Red Onion: Progressive housing: offender must 6 months infraction free

➡Segregation: offender must be 12 months infraction free

☆If the offender is eligible, the following steps must then be followed:

↪▪The offender has to initiate the visitation process established by the prison.

↪▪The offender fills out an application packet and mails it to his family or friend.

↪▪The family or friend has to mail the application with the fee to the appropriate Visitor Center on the list below.

↪▪The Visitor Center sends the name of the visitor back to the facility to insure accurate information and to schedule the video visitation’s date and time.

↪▪The prison confirms the information.

↪▪The Visitor Center contacts the family or friend and confirms date and time of the visit.

↘I believe this would only be good as a alternative to families unable to travel but should not be the standard. VDOC is considering making this their sole primary method of visitation.↖

➡The following are Pros and Cons regarding video visitation systems in use today according to VDOC:⬅

➕Pros: The systems take the place of face-to-face visits that require people to drive to the prison and meet an inmate. Evidence shows the video visitation system helps families stay connected is positive,.

↘▪If the option to visit your love one face to face exists, why would anyone think the lack there of would be a pro?As a alternative? yes!  Primary? No!

➖Cons: The systems are said to be complicated to operate and prone to breakdowns. Advocates claim officials need to prevent vendors from overcharging for the service, as rates vary from 25 cents to $1.29 a minute, declared Peter Wagner, executive director of the Prison Policy Initiative. However, some say it is still cheaper than driving to the facility. No personal contact to love ones eliminate the smuggling of contraband or the need to be subjected to strip searches.

↘▪ So your doing us a favor by not having to search us when the majority have nothing on them anyways? The average cost is about $30 for 20 min so this can’t be a pro.