Visitation shut down for a week at 201 Poplar

Shelby County Jail visitation system down

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Inmate visitations at Shelby County Jail are on hold for at least a week.

The visits were stopped after a technical problem surfaced with a new visitation system.

We’ve learned visitations are not the only thing impacted.

“She pretty much had tears in her eyes," said Odessa Evans, visitor.

Odessa Evans said that was one woman’s reaction when she came to 201 Poplar to visit an inmate.

“When we got here they said no visitation," said Evans.

Evans wanted to visit her nephew. She and other visitors were met with signs on the doors saying, ‘Public visitation closed for a week until next Friday due to technical difficulties with the new visitation system.’

“This system been down since Monday night," said Toni Williams, visitor.

Toni Williams says not only can’t she visit her relative, she can’t put any money down for his commissary or phone use. The kiosk isn’t working.

Visitors are told they can drive across the city to Jail East to use the kiosk there because it is working. But a lot of people don’t have that much gas money.

Sade Evans came from Georgia.

“I’m mad because I’m actually from Georgia. I’m really here to visit somebody all the way from Georgia," said Sade Evans, visitor.

And she’s not sure the inmates know.

“Don’t think the inmates know. He didn’t say anything about no visits," said Evans.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office says it has nothing to do with the systems for the video visitations or the kiosks. That is the county.

County commissioners said they were told to refer questions to the county.

Toni Williams says the problem needs to be fixed because the inmates are cut off from their friends and family.

“Basically they’re just in there," said Williams.

I tried to contact Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris and his spokesperson to find out what is going. I did not get a response.

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