How Do I Video Call an Inmate?

By HomeWAV MediaJune 10, 2022

How Do I Video Call an Inmate?

While nothing can take the place of in-person visitation, advancements in technology can help bridge the gap between you and your incarcerated loved one by allowing video calls with someone in jail. Through companies like HomeWAV, inmates are able to make video calls with friends and family from jail easily and safely, allowing for better connections and communication. If you have been looking for an alternative to FaceTime to connect with someone in jail more efficiently, HomeWAV provides video and voice calling resources.

If your loved one is currently an inmate at a correctional facility that offers the HomeWAV system, video calling is as easy as five steps:

There are a variety of ways to maintain a relationship with an inmate, some requiring less effort than others, but they are all capable of helping you connect. With a little creativity, not only will you keep each other engaged socially, you can help each other grow as people. Creative examples for socializing with incarcerated individuals, which can be done virtually or in-person, include:

1. Create an Account: To ensure safety for yourself and your loved one, you’ll need to first create a HomeWAV account online, either through your computer browser or the mobile app on your phone. (The mobile app is available free in the app store for iOS and Android.) You will need to upload a profile picture of yourself that is head-on, from the shoulders up, and without filters or edits, as well as a government-issued ID like your license, state ID, or passport.

2. Wait to be Accepted by the Detention Facility: In most cases, your account will be reviewed by the correctional facility within 24 to 48 hours. The correctional facility will see your account, profile photo, and government-issued ID, then grant or deny access. This process is similar to the one you would need to go through to visit in-person and gives facility staff the awareness of who inmates are speaking with.

Please note that acceptance is at the discretion of each correctional facility. Outside of financial fraud situations, HomeWAV does not stop accounts from being made. If your account is not accepted, please contact the detention facility.

3. Add Funds to Your Account: You can also add funds to your incarcerated loved one’s HomeWAV account through the website, mobile app, a PayNearMe kiosk, or through our automated phone payment system. Your loved one will be able to use these funds to call those on their approved phone list. 

Fees and services are set independently by each corrections facility, but most are between 10 and 30 cents per minute. eMessaging features are less than one cent per character. Unlike calls from the detention center which can sometimes allow for outgoing collect calls, you will need to add funds via credit, debit, or prepaid cards prior to the call. Enter the amount you would like to add to your account via the “Add ‘Talk to Me’ Funds” in the app or online.

4. Wait for Your Loved One to Jump Online: The great thing about video calling with an inmate is that you do not need to have a scheduled time to chat. Instead, video/voice calls and eMessaging can be made to and from your loved one when they have access to a HomeWAV kiosk or tablet. This means you can talk more frequently when you are both available.

5. Video Call with Your Loved One: When you are both online, they can call you through our secure app or website portal.

We understand that knowing someone in jail is hard, but with HomeWAV, we hope to make communicating easier by allowing video calls similar to FaceTime. With video calls, you can keep your loved one up-to-date about what is happening in your life and feel a bit closer, even while they are incarcerated. 

For more information about HomeWAV or how to stay in contact with your loved one, help children understand the situation, and care for yourself during this trying time, we have free resources available on our website.