Face-to-face jail visitations coming to an end in Saginaw County

Saginaw County Jail

Come September, inmates at the Saginaw County Jail will no longer be able to see their visitors face-to-face.

The sheriff is converting visitations to video only. Right now, if you visited someone at the Saginaw County Jail, you would be separated from them by a glass partition and you have to talk on a receiver but come this fall it will be all video-based, meaning the inmate will stay inside of their jail cell and talk into a camera while you could visit them from home."

"I don't like 'em because you can't have any physical contact,â?? says Janita Bond of Saginaw.

She isn't a fan of the video-based visitation system coming to the Saginaw County Jail.

â??This (sic) my son here so it's like, not being able to sit face-to-face and talk to 'em, instead of through a window, I don't really care for it,â?? says Bond.

But Sheriff William Federspiel says the new system is needed to ensure safety.

â??Sometimes we see fights between the inmates, scuffles between them and the guards and the free movement--you have a great chance of injury,â?? says Federspiel.

He also says the move will also help his budget.

â??The company we're contracting with is doing this without any cost to us,â?? says Federspiel. â??The cost where they will make their money to pay this system off will come through individuals who want to do visits with inmates from their home."

Smart move says at St. Charles resident who didn't want to give her name on Wednesday.

â??They can see their entire family, meaning the younger kids who can't come up here and see anybody. So it could be very beneficial,â?? said the woman who was visiting a relative on Wednesday.

â??Itâ??s hard enough for them to be in here and them being in here, you can't really see them,â?? counters Bond.

â??There will be more opportunities for visits than just one week and i think it's really going to be a benefit,â?? asserts Federspiel.

Federspiel expects the video system to be installed in September. All video conferences will be recorded and those who wish to just the system at home will be charged an extra fee per visit.