NY’s prison visits program via closed-circuit TV is currently only available at Albion Women’s Prison — is set to more than quadruple in size this fall. The program is conducted by the Osborne Association, a nonprofit that has been conducting the meetings known as televisits for the past two years, according to the NY Daily News. It will soon expand to the male-only Auburn, Clinton and Chateaugay facilities, with videoconference rooms added in Manhattan and the Bronx, the state Corrections Department confirmed.
Families talk on a large-screen TV that looks very much like a computer Skype window. Since most of NY’s prisons lack Internet connections or cell service (cell phones are considered contraband), facilitating the hookup requires infrastructure work. So far corrections officials in NY insist they will keep the televisits as a free benefit, and still allow physical visits as well.