Family unable to visit inmates in Madison County jail until further notice, as facility upgrades system

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - There are changes coming to the Madison County Detention Facility. But, until the technology updates are finished, families aren't able to visit the inmates.

This temporary delay is because new video visitation technology is being installed in the Madison County jail.

"The original equipment the facility was built with is still being used," Maj. Troy Fulk, Jail Administrator, said. "So, we saw a need to upgrade the video visitation for the inmates."

Maj. Fulk said the jail has always used video visitation as a way to keep relationships between inmates and their families.

"You would come in, you would make an appointment, the inmate gets notified of the appointment," Maj. Fulk explained. "The inmate in the dorm would go up to a screen, pick up a phone, like a phone call, but there's a video monitor there. Then, [the family members] sit in a room and pick up the phone, and they're looking at a screen as well."

Fulk said video visitation is the same method the jail will use for appointments in the future.

"All the policies and procedures will remain the same," Maj. Fulk said. "What they're going to see is more availability of more screens which will give more availability of more time and more of scheduling ease."

Until further notice, families and loved ones are not able to visit the inmates.

"The phone calls are still available so they can still communicate via the phone," Maj. Fulk explained.

Maj. Fulk said the jail's staff did tell the inmates visitation would be temporarily stopped.

"Of course the inmates knew before the family members and the loved ones," Maj. Fulk said.

But overall, Maj. Fulk said the more than 900 inmates at the Madison County jail are looking forward to the changes ahead.

"They liked that fact that it's going to be updated video, clearer, reliable, less outages, less downtime and they have more availability to do more video visitation kiosk in the dorm," Maj. Fulk said.

Maj. Fulk said the system should be up and running again in two weeks, barring any more delays. Right now, the project is about a week behind.