A lightning strike crashed the video visitation system recently at the Volusia County Jail. Jail officials thought it would be a quick and easy fix. But it wasn’t back up and running for a month and two days after the storm.

Lightning Crash at Volusia County Jail Affects Inmates

It had become Brittany Crenshaw’s routine to eat, go to work, and visit her boyfriend, Timothy Chapman in jail and eventually sleep.

During her almost-daily visits, Crenshaw would tell Chapman about the outside life, while he would tell her of that inside the County Jail in Volusia, Florida. “I love you,” “I miss you” were also part of the daily visits’ stories. The pair could discuss their life plans, including marriage!

But suddenly, Crenshaw, 24, could not visit her fiancé anymore as the video visitation system at the jail has been down for weeks.

The Delay of the Video Visitation System at the Volusia County Jail Causing Havoc

Video visitations are taking over the country's county jails and state prisons.A July 22 lightning strike had destroyed the video visitation systems. Jail management thought that it would be fixed quickly. But everything remained in a mess till Thursday, a-month-and-two-days after the storm attack.

The damage was very severe!

Volusia’s county jail has a room filled with telephones and television monitors. These devices connect inmates to husbands, fathers, mothers, among other loved ones. The jail’s visitation center usually welcomes approximately 100 visitors each day who are given 30-minutes to talk.

After a couple of weeks without visiting her soulmate, Crenshaw became increasingly aggravated.

Crenshaw and her boyfriend had dated for the previous years and separated. They only rekindled their love in May. But unfortunately, Chapman was charged on the same month of reunion with misdemeanor assault. Daytona Beach police claimed that Chapman had threatened to harm his wife during a confrontation about him receiving texts from other women.

Chapman, however, pleaded not guilty and he, therefore, remains jailed as he waits for trial. Since her boyfriend’s apprehension, Crenshaw visited him multiple times a week. But the visit was suddenly short-lived. She wasn’t told the reason for not visiting him neither. All she knew: “I called to place a visitation appointment, but I wasn’t able to.”

Lightning crashes Volusia County Jail video visitation system

Lightning crashes Volusia County Jail video visitation system
Image Source: The Daytona Beach News Journal

Not seeing her boyfriend for over a month has really affected Crenshaw’s well-being, she revealed. Depression sank in, and she even lost her job! “It’s been hell. I mean absolute hell,” she recalls. “I’ve been so depressed that I used to cry. My mind was affected with missing my love.”

Flowers, a corrections veteran, admits that the delay in visitations at the county jail in Volusiahas hurt lives. He explained that visits are essential for inmates and their loved ones.

So on Thursday, when Crenshaw arrived at the visitation center for a ‘News-Journal’ interview about the period that the visitation system has been inoperable, Flowers decided to surprise her. And on the very first day of testing the newly fixed jail system, Flowers invited her to talk to her boyfriend.

“This’s the best news I have ever received all month!” said Crenshaw. “To me, this is even better than gold.”

While waiting at Monitor 5 in the nearly empty room, Crenshaw could not prevent the deep smile on her face, as the love of her heart appeared wearing an orange jumpsuit. The duo talked about how life has been since they last conversed. Chapman talked about everything that he wanted to do differently in the time that they never saw each other.

And as always it included: “I love you,” and “It’s adorable seeing your face,” they said to each other.

Video: Inmates can have visits after the jail’s video visitation system was down for a month due to lightning

This video was uploaded to YouTube by Daytona Beach News-Journal.

 

Read More: How In-person Visits to Prisons and Jails Across America Are Becoming Obsolete

Daniel Peterson is a young professional with diverse experience in content writing and content management. He has a strong blog writing background, and runs his own e-commerce partnership business. Daniel currently writes news articles for prison loved ones on the Prison Rideshare Network.