Minnesota prisons offer video visitation

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Minnesota's prisons are allowing inmates to video chat with friends and family using a tablet or computer. Video visitation is expected to be available at all 11 state Department of Corrections facilities by the end of October. The program, which is similar to FaceTime and Skype, began Thursday at the Oak Park Heights prison.

Once approved for the program, loved ones can schedule appointments online and pay about $10 to speak to an inmate for 30 minutes.

Department of Corrections spokeswoman Sarah Latuseck tells the Star Tribune that the department receives $1 of the fee to fund offender programs and activities.

All video calls will be monitored and recordings will be archived for at least nine months.

Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com