Corrections knows the importance of visiting loved ones in prison and we know it’s been hard on families and whānau since we had to suspend visits to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
We are pleased to now offer video calling for eligible people in our care in prison with their approved visitors, provided certain conditions are met.
We are rolling out video calling to all sites over the next few weeks.
Each video call is allocated 10 minutes. Visitors use their own device and internet connection or mobile data to join a video call.
Applying for video calls
People in prison ask to invite their approved visitors. Anyone who is on their approved visitor list may be invited to video call. All parties must agree to the conditions of the video calling.
Staff contact the approved visitor with an invite form via email.
The visitor completes the video calling request (agreeing to conditions) and indicates a preferred time and day.
Each prison will decide which days and times are available for video calling. Staff will help approved visitors arrange a suitable time once their request to video call is accepted.
What to expect
You’ll receive details on how to connect to the video call by email. This will have a link to open in your device, and a password to join the meeting at your scheduled time.
Once connected you’ll be able to see and hear your visitor.
A Corrections staff member will be in the room during the call to help and make sure participants comply with the agreed conditions, in the same way they are present at visits in prison.
Video calls must end after 10 minutes to allow as many people to connect with their loved ones as possible.
Checklist for video callers
To take part in video calling, you must:
- be an approved visitor
- have a smart phone or device and internet browser (Google Chrome for Android and Windows and Safari for Apple)
- have an internet connection or data plan
- agree to and comply with the conditions of video calling
- provide identification on the video call.
Everyone in the room for the video call must be an approved visitor and booked for the call. For example, a partner and children or two parents.
Please note that video calls use more data than regular audio calls.
Conditions of video calling
All participants must agree to comply with the video calling conditions.
Staff can end any call immediately if participants breach the conditions.
Video Calling conditions
You cannot record or photograph the call in any way. If you do, the call will be ended immediately and could result in prosecution in court under section 141(1)(f) of the Corrections Act.
At least one Corrections staff member will be present in the room at all times.
No one else should be present on the video call unless they were booked for the same video call from the same address. You will need to be in a private location.
The call will last up to 10 minutes only.
Participants must behave appropriately, as you would for a physical visit.
The call may be ended if anyone behaves in a manner that is:
- harmful, threatening, or intimidating to any person, or
- threatening or disruptive to the security or order of the prison, or
- indecent or
if the video caller or prisoner fails to comply with the Corrections Act 2004, or the Corrections Regulations 2005, any rule, or any lawful order given by an officer.
A Corrections staff member will need to confirm your identity before the call takes place.
You can't invite others into a video call on other devices. If that happens the call will be ended immediately.
Technical support and feedback
Some of the technology and applications for video calling may be new to you.
We will send instructions to video call guests PDF, 1.3 MB to help them make a video call.
If a video call drops out for technical reasons, we will try to reconnect but prisons will need to keep to their video calls schedule. If your call fails or is cut short you will need to rebook. Please bear with us while we all get used to the technology in this environment.
Feedback about the video call process will be helpful to smooth out the process and make sure that video calls are as positive as they can be.
If you would like to share your feedback about a video call experience please email the address you received your invite from.
Download the ReadyCloud Video How to Guide for Guests PDF, 1.3 MB