Videophone use on the way for inmates .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} ANKARA - A decision by the Justice Ministry to permit the use of videophones by prison inmates is expected to make it easier for them to keep in touch with relatives and loved ones.

A trial period will commence in Ankara’s Sincan Prison and if successful, the technology will be implemented nationwide.

The telecommunications company, Türk Telekom, offered the videophone service last year. The use of videophones will prove beneficial in particular for elderly parents who cannot visit their children, or inmates who have relatives in faraway cites or abroad. Nizamettin Kalaman, a Justice Ministry official, announced that the ministry was planning to use videophones in prisons after negotiations with Türk Telekom.

Overcrowding will reduce

Kalaman said technical studies had been completed in Sincan Prison on Jan. 9 and that the prison would be used to test the application. Kalaman added that if no problems were encountered, the application would be implemented nationwide. Kalaman also said they were expecting overcrowding on visiting days to be reduced through this technology and that people who were not immediate family and therefore barred from visits would also be able to benefit.