The WaPo has this editorial on the DC Jail's switch to video visitation. The DOC's brochure notes the advantage for the visitors that they will not have to wait in long lines or undergo intensive searches. The obvious advantage not noted in the brochure, the FAQ, or the WaPo editorial is that you can't smuggle drugs or weapons over a video link. The WaPo isn't happy with the end of in-person visits:
Ultimately, the option of in-person visitation should be restored, at least as an alternative to video visits as it is in states like Virginia. In the meantime, the D.C. jail owes the public an explanation for heaping an even greater burden on those who already suffer enough.The assumption that people in jail uniformly "already suffer enough" is a curious one. A good many people sentenced to jail deserved to be sentenced to prison but got plea bargains because the system is just too overloaded to give them what they deserve. Not all, of course, but many. Sure, in person is better than video, but given the magnitude of the smuggling problem, video is arguably better overall.