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Paper mail is scanned in at Smart Communication’s office in Florida and uploaded to the system so that inmates can view their mail. Lauren Kandrac, regional sales director for Smart Communications, said the company processes about 80,000 pieces of mail a day and is contracted with 100 facilities across the country.
Smart Communications installed the kiosks at no charge to the county or taxpayers. They provide inmates a certain amount of free outgoing mail and then charge them for 50 cents for anything above that, a rate that is still lower than the cost of postage at the jail, Streck said.
Streck said he has gotten positive feedback from the inmates about the new system.
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“They like being able to get their questions answered right away, they like knowing that if they hand in a request for commissary that they can do it right then and there and don’t have to worry about when the (corrections officer) is leaving, someone stops them and puts them on a different route and then those things get put off,” Streck said.
Prior to using the kiosk system, everything was done on paper, Streck said.
People who were opening mail at the county jail can now spend their time on other tasks, Kandrac said. Drugs and other contraband now also go to Smart Communications and not into the jail.
The jail is currently conducting a use study for the next step of the Smart Communications system, which will include video visitations.
Inmates would be able to talk with loved ones via the kiosk and the outside party’s phone.
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