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County Prepares to Reinstate In-Person Jail Visits

From the Austin Monitor

The Travis County Sheriff’s Office is working towards reinstating face-to-face visits for inmates at its local jails.

Yesterday County Commissioners received an update on their progress.

The main change that needs to happen is new scheduling software to handle what the county expects will be a slew of in-person visits. Major Wes Priddy with the Travis County Sherriff's Department says they have just a "short timelines between now and April obviously to get that purchased and in place."

April is when the Travis County hopes to reopen in-person visits for inmates. Right now, inmates are permitted video visitations only. But County Commissioners decided in September they would make room in their budget for in-person visits after receiving complaints from some families. The county will hire 14 full-time employees to facilitate the visits, with roughly half of these positions beginning in January.

A spokesperson for the County says they may also have to consider new construction to accommodate more visitors. There are plans to expand a visitation center in the county’s proposed redevelopment of the Del Valle jail. 

Audrey McGlinchy is KUT's housing reporter. She focuses on affordable housing solutions, renters’ rights and the battles over zoning. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on Twitter @AKMcGlinchy.
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