NH citizens divided on whether to allow video visitation services for NH state prison inmates – 172 citizens, 275 responses

Oct 24, 2015

Several state departments of corrections have authorized the use of software that allows friends and family members to pay to chat via video connection with prison inmates. In NH, such video visitation services are available at some county prisons but not state prisons.

In answering the question, “Should NH allow state prison inmates to video chat with loved ones?” a total of 86% of respondents answered directly or with a concurrence. Out of these responses, a 57% majority said NH should allow state prison inmates to video chat with loved one with 43% against it. Of the remaining respondents, 13% opted to discuss the subject in broader terms while less than 1% commented on unrelated issues. In sum, 137 citizens participated in the discussion with a total of 275 responses. 

For those who supported video visitation services in NH state prisons, several expressed concern for the families and loved ones of inmates. “Do it for their families, especially their children,” said one respondent. Many, however, focused on the idea that such services more effectively promote rehabilitation. One woman remarked, “Personal connections are an important part of rehabilitation and necessary for their mental and emotional health.”  

For many of the opposite opinion, though, such services represent a freedom that should be restricted. “The reason you go to prison is to pay for your crime and lose privileges,” remarked one respondent. Others questioned who would pay for such services, while several commented on the impact outside prison walls. “Try once thinking of the victim and the victim’s family,” added one gentleman. 

For respondents who did not provide a direct “yes” or “no” to the question, several discussed the merits of rehabilitation while others questioned how video visitation services would be implemented. Others touched on larger issues, including one gentleman who noted, “Stop locking people up for victimless and non-violent crimes.” 

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

Do you think prison inmates should have access to video chat services? Leave a comment! 

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