Virginia is set to become the 2nd state to eliminate face-to-face visitation for death row inmates in favor of video visits.
State correction officials say the policy will be less intrusive on visitors, less labor-intensive on staff and could lead to expanded visitation opportunities. It will take effect Sept. 1.
Relatives of inmates on death row call the policy cruel and unnecessary.
Of the nation's 35 death penalty states, Kansas was the 1st to require that visits with inmates on death row be conducted by video conference. A dozen states allow contact visits, while 21 others require visitors to be separated by a glass partition. In Ohio, visitors are separated by glass, but there is a slot that allows visitors and death-row inmates to hold hands.
Source: Associated Press, August 21, 2010