Webb County, Texas, Sheriff Gets Tech Lesson From Inmates

Sheriff Martin Cuellar, of Webb County, Texas, and his staff visited Sheriff Daniel Bueno of Jim Wells County, Texas, and his jail on Friday to understand how the City Tele Coin technology used by inmates works.

by Melissa Cantu Trevino, Alice Echo-News Journal / June 25, 2019

(TNS) — Sheriff Martin Cuellar, of Webb County, Texas, and his staff visited Sheriff Daniel Bueno of Jim Wells County, Texas, and his jail on Friday to understand the City Tele Coin technology used by inmates works.

Before they toured the jail, Sheriff Cuellar, his staff, Sheriff Bueno and his staff heard from Anthony Romero with CTC about how the technology works for inmates' phone calls, video visitation, games and more.

CTC fronts everything for the system at any jail that decides their inmates would benefit from the technology. The inmates then pay for the system.

In order for inmates to access the technology, inmates must have an account set up for them by family and friends. Family and friends of the inmates put money in the inmates commissary, visitation or media accounts.

"It's a very impressive system and it makes money (for your agency) as well," Sheriff Bueno stated.

According to Romero, for the month of April, the system made over $9,000 for the agency.

"It gives (inmates) options for their day instead of just sitting in the day rooms or cells doing things they shouldn't. I rather have them occupied by watching TV or playing games or on a visit," Romero said.

According to Jim Wells County Sgt. Felix Saenz, the tablets only run programs the sheriff's administration approves and "do not have access to the world."

Saenz and Romero told Sheriff Cuellar that inmates will not have access to any social media.

"There's no way to get around the system and connect to the internet. It's all set up through us and monitored (24 hours a day)," Romero said.

All contacts for text messaging and visitations are approved by administration, who review messages that get flagged. Administration can also do "live monitoring" of calls and visitations without the inmates knowledge; everything is recorded and stored.

Any inappropriate messages, pictures or video visitations will result in loss of privileges.

©2019 Alice Echo-News Journal, Texas. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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