Well-behaved inmates at the Boulder County Jail enjoy a perk that's quickly vanishing from other jails across the state: the ability to enjoy a face-to-face visit from friends or family without having to peer through opposite sides of a glass partition.
But the age of "contact" visits may be coming to an end, as jail authorities research video-conferencing technology to increase flexibility, save money and cut down on the dangers of contraband making its way inside.
Division Chief Larry Hank, who oversees the jail, said most inmates talk to their visitors through glass, on telephones. But a smaller group of incarcerated men and women -- those who have been participating in improvement programs -- can visit with wives, girlfriends or family without any barriers.
"Right now, three-quarters of our inmates don't get contact visits," he said. "We use it strictly as an incentive — it’s a good kind of pressure.”