JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - COVID-19 procedures came with a lot of guidelines for congregate institutions like nursing homes and jails.
One that has had the most impact is that no one from the outside is allowed on the inside.
“Just that seeing, it’s very good. It’s good for the loved ones; it’s good for those who are in the detention center," Evangelist Imevbore Elugbe said.
Elugbe, who is also the founder of Future For Felons, is now pushing a new initiative because of the pandemic.
He would like to see virtual visitation for those who are jailed in the Craighead County Detention Center. He says when inmates cannot see those they know and love, it can have a detrimental effect on their morale.
“It gives them life in a situation where they feel they have no hope," Elugbe said.
He has made phone calls to local lawmakers and even the sheriff to see what could be set up, saying the majority of the nation transitioned over to virtual and it shouldn’t be any different for the detention centers.
“None of us would be here if we weren’t forgiven," Elugbe said.
He has a message for critics who say those behind bars do not deserve to talk to their loved ones.
“They are still part of the community," Elugbe said. “They’ve made mistakes, yeah. Give them a chance to get it right. They are still human. If you were in that position, what would you want?"
He added that we all need hearts of understanding during this time.
“You can’t say you will never be in that position because you don’t know," Elugbe said.
Region 8 News did reach out to Sheriff Marty Boyd. He says they already have a pre-existing contract with an IT provider and they have to see if the system can allow it and how much it would cost.
But, Boyd confirmed they are “definitely exploring” virtual visitation.