If you have a loved one that is in prison or jail, you are not alone. In May 2013, there were more than 200,000 people in prison, and currently, about 0.7% of adults in the U.S. are incarcerated. While this does not change your own situation, it does help you understand that there are several others in the country who can empathize with what you are going through.
In an effort to make visiting and interacting with your loved ones easier, many prisons and jails have set up video visitation systems via an online virtual server. These virtual servers help secure video conferencing or analog closed caption television circuits that allow inmates and their families to speak to one another face to face more often. Prison visiting hours can be limited, and depending on its location, a family might have to travel a far distance on a regular basis to interact with their incarcerated loved one. Virtual visitation can be set up at the convenience of family and friends, and can be scheduled often.
Inmate video visitation also takes the burden off of the institution. They do not have to move inmates around, or physically monitor their visitation with their family and friends. This mobility within prisons has often resulted in contraband entering and leaving a facility, so decreased movement of prisoners is also advantageous to prison staff. With video visitation, guards and other prison staff can still monitor the online visits through the virtual server. It still gives them full access to the online conference, and they can cut the connection if they feel it is necessary, but they do not have to worry about scheduling and administrating visits with family and friends. This is almost completely left to visitors.
There is no doubt that video visitation benefits the prison or jail facility, the inmates, and family and friends connected to the inmates. While it does not replace seeing your loved one face to face, it at least gives you a chance to speak with him or her much more often. It can make this difficult time period for both of you easier.