With COVID-19 still present, the Grant County Jail is still not allowing on-site visitation to happen, according to the release. However, they have implemented a new way for inmates to stay connected with friends and family.

The Grant County Jail has started a new off-site visitation program according to a release on June 11.

The new visitation program is through HomeWAV, which is an all-in-one system that allows inmates to use wall mounted kiosks to contact loved ones, order commissary and even communicate with staff. Inmates can initiate calls, text messages or video chats through the kiosks or handheld tablets, according to HomeWAV’s website, but the Grant County Jail does not currently have handheld tablets yet. It allows visitors to stay connected with inmates through technology they already have at home, whether it be a smartphone, tablet or computer.

“We absolutely love it. It’s more convenient for staff and inmates,” said Jail Lieutenant Phillip Coats of the new HomeWAV system.

The new system allows flexibility in making contact with loved ones since they do not have to have as much of a notice of scheduling with staff. This means inmates are not held to the same visitation hours as in-person visitation to contact family or friends.

Currently the jail has a total of 14 HomeWAV systems in different common rooms for inmate use and an additional two kiosks in the lobby for visitors to use since the jail is still not allowing in-person visitation. The jail stopped in-person visitation to eliminate unnecessary contact and traffic in the jail due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Visitors must register through HomeWAV to have phone visits and video visits with Grant County Jail inmates. It takes up to 24 hours to get approved after registering, so plan at least a day ahead of time.

More information about visitation rules and regulations at the Grant County Jail can be found at http://www.grantcountywa.gov/SHERIFF/Corrections/Visitation.htm. To register or find more information on the HomeWAV system, go to homewav.com.

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