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updated: 6/17/2013 11:46 AM

Southern Illinois prison begins video visitation

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Associated Press

ULLIN -- Inmates at the Tri County Detention Center in Pulaski County will be able to video chat with friends and family -- for a fee.

The prison began using the HomeWAV system this month to let inmates virtually visit with people, without having the visitors travel to the facility in Ullin (UHL'-lihn), about 30 miles south of Carbondale.

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Warden Damon Acuff says video visitations are "the wave of the future."

The Southern Illinoisan reports ( ) the video chats will soon be available 24 hours a day. Computer "visitation stations" with a PC, video monitor and webcam have been set up in the facility's day rooms.

The HomeWAV system costs 50 cents a minute, plus an additional 50 cents for each video chat. That means a five-minute visit would cost $5.50.

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