MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -- If you've got a loved one who's in the Bibb County Jail, now you can check in on them from the comfort of your own home.
For the friends and family of inmates in the jail, Sheriff David Davis says the days of shouting over others just to talk with your loved for a few minutes through glass, are over.
"They're able to see their loved one or their friends a lot clearer to where they have a meaningful visit, even if it is remotely," said Davis.
A company called Securus is providing the new system called "video visitation." Bibb County started using it in May of this year.
There are 16 computer stations in the jail's visitation center and 53 in the inmate housing area.
Through the jails computers prisoners can communicate with their loved ones or attorney for forty minutes a week, for free. They can also pay to talk with someone on the outside. That person needs is a web cam or built in video player and an internet connection.
Lieutenant Sean DeFoe tells 41NBC the system is a big benefit for people across state lines.
"We've had call from family members who've lived out of state, well what do you do? You have lodging expenses, gas expenses, wear and tear on your vehicle," said DeFoe.
Bringing in this new system didn't cost the taxpayers a dime. Chief Deputy Russell Nelson said since the sheriff's office already had a phone contract with Securus, no extra money was necessary.
"They're going to re-coop their cost based on the amount of use by the inmate and by the visitors over a period of time," said Nelson.
Instead of only weekend visits, inmates can a schedule their 40-minute visit on one of five days during the week.
"It's sort of a moral boost I guess, and it helps to keep the jail under control," said Davis.
Davis also added, the video visitation cuts down on contraband getting into the jail. Also, all the visits are monitored and recorded to make sure no inappropriate discussions are happening.