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WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — Technical issues with the video visitation system at a western North Dakota jail have prevented some inmates from receiving visitors for about two months.

The problematic video visitation system is in the older part of the Williams County Correctional Center, which houses more than two dozen inmates, KXMB-TV reported . County Sheriff Verlan Kvande said the problems stem from system upgrades.

“What the old systems were and how they were put in has made it much more challenging to put in the upgraded equipment,” said Kvande.

He said that jail standards prohibit inmates in the older part of the facility to transfer to the newer part for visitation purposes. Video visitation is fully operational in the newer portion of the jail.

Charles Martin visited the facility two months ago to see a family member and learned that the video visitation had been canceled.

“If they’re in here, regardless of what they’re in here for, they should be able to visit whoever comes in to see them,” said Martin. “They shouldn’t be kept away from their families.”

Kvande agreed that it’s unfair to inmates.

“I definitely feel for family and individuals affected by it,” Kvande said. “If there’s something we could do more directly, we’d certainly be doing that.”

There is no time frame for when the video visitation system will be fully operational again.

Construction to expand the correctional facility has also led to other issues, including plumbing and door and camera electronics.


Information from: KXMB-TV,