As of Tuesday, January 9, 2018
To the editor:
I have a question about a NORCOR practice that I find, well, questionable.
Why are inmates denied in-person visits with friends and family? I’ve heard the argument made that the current system, where NORCOR (through the Oregon Department of Corrections) contracts with Telmate, a for-profit company that shares its profits with the state, is an added convenience to inmates and families, as they no longer have to make a physical visit to the jail. I can’t disagree, even though the families and inmates pay handsomely for this service. (So much so that the Federal Communications Commission under the Trump Administration called the rates “excessive” and “egregious”).
But why are all inmates denied in-person visits? Even if the inmate is deemed nonviolent? Even if the inmate is mentally disabled or handicapped? Why are inmates denied the ability to see their loved ones in-person?