Taiwan to start trial run of virtual prison visits soon

Taipei, The relatives of inmates at some prisons in Taiwan will be able to make virtual visits soon, as the government is about to roll out the system on a trial basis, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) said Wednesday.

At a press conference, Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang said the virtual visits will be launched Feb. 18 by the MOJ's Agency of Corrections (AOC) at three prisons, allowing video chats between the inmates and their family members.

According to AOC Director Huang Chun-tang the virtual visits will be allowed on a trial basis for six months at Penghu Prison, Taiyuan Skill Training Institute in Taitung and Kinmen Prison and are likely to be expanded to 51 correctional institutions across the country sometime next year.

The family members taking part in the trail run of the system must be either a direct blood relative, spouse, over 65 or under 12 years of age, or have a disability, he said.

The video calls will be made via a mobile phone or computer that would allow confirmation of the caller's identity before a connection is established, according to AOC officials.

Tsai said allowing such video calls will make it easier for inmates to see and interact with their family members, which is vital to their rehabilitation.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel