Visitation still down at Shelby County Jail, expected to be working by end of week

Visitation still down at Shelby County Jail, expected to be working by end of week

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Inmate visitations at Shelby County Jail are still on hold.

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

The kiosk inside is also offline. That’s where friends and family can put money down for the inmate to buy items at the jail commissary.

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

This week Shelby County Chief Jailer, Kirk Fields, said the problem is coming from Global Tel Link, or GTL, the company that operates the video visitation system.

Fields says GTL had a fiber optic cut and they are working on repairing it.

Video visitation is all that is offered at 201 Poplar.

Josh Spickler is the executive director of Just City that advocates for people who come in contact with the criminal justice system.

“We have no control apparently over whether we provide visitation to the people or not," Spickler said.

He points out that most of the people behind bars at 201 Poplar have not been convicted of anything and says it is inhumane to not have visitation.

“Shelby County needs to rethink this whole relationship with Global Intel Link,” he said.

Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner visited the jail and spoke with several inmates about the suspension of the video visitation. He reassured the inmates he is working with the county to fix the system.

The jail visitation is supposed to be working by the end of this week.

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