Costs of video calls with Virginia prisoners to be cut in half on Aug. 1

Watchful Eye

At a time when many costs are going up, people with loved ones in Virginia prisons are likely to welcome a price cut.

On August 1, the cost of video calls with inmates in the custody of Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) facilities will be cut in half.

Assisting Families of Inmates (AFOI) announced the rate will be reduced from $.40 per minute to $.20 per minute.

AFOI is a non-profit organization that partners with ViaPath Technologies and VADOC to offer the video calls.

Video visitation in Virginia began in 2010 and was accessed from visitor centers, but since 2019, individuals have been able to engage in video calls from home.

Offering some perspective on the finances, Angela Adinolfi told 10 Wavy.com that throughout the pandemic she tried to maintain a habit three video visits a week with her husband who is serving time in a Chesapeake prison. And she has been spending nearly $1,000 a year on those calls.

“It’s a financial strain for a lot of families that are already struggling financially because one of their main support systems is incarcerated,” she said.

“Reducing costs associated with visitation has been a priority of AFOI’s since program inception. We understand the value of visits to families-especially during the pandemic-and we also understand the cost impacts on families. Supportive, positive connections are a benefit to families, and to our community as a whole, as these connections are essential to successful reentry, recidivism reduction and increased public safety. We are very pleased to have been able to reduce the cost by half, especially in such a short period of time, and we thank our technology partner, ViaPath Technologies,” said Fran Bolin, AFOI’s executive director said in a statement announcing the price reduction.

“Access to video visitation with friends and loved ones is an important part of successful reentry. We are very excited that these services will now be more affordable than ever and will continue to help our inmates strengthen and preserve their bonds with their families and support networks, improving recidivism and public safety in Virginia,” VADOC director Harold Clark added.

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