The Ministry of Justice has announced that secure video calling is now available in all public and private prisons in England and Wales, including all young offenders’ institutions. This service was designed, installed and is operated by Purple Visits, a leading edge technology company which is based in Thetford, Norfolk.

Purple Visits is very proud to have enabled such a large number of residents to maintain important visual contact with loved ones, and help maintain family ties throughout this time of restrictions, across the prison estate. 

None of this would have been possible however, without the dedicated teams within the prisons.   

Each site has been very accommodating, learning to use this new system, during an already stretched time has been a big ask.  All sites have been keen to get the service up and running, as they are more than aware of the positive changes family contact can have on the residents, as well as how vital this contact is during this difficult, and restrictive time.

The team at Purple Visits have all been dedicated to the cause, and want to ensure that the user has a good experience from the very beginning.  Our live support team are second to none, and they are on hand to answer users questions, tirelessly, 7 days a week.                                                                                                                                 

George Kyriacou, of Purple Visits, says, “With thousands of families, residents, and prison staff, providing positive feedback, we as a team are incredibly proud to have been able to help so many residents keep in touch with their families.  The pandemic has placed families in a very difficult situation, and the swift adoption of the Purple Visits video calling service across the estate has had an overwhelmingly positive impact during, arguably, the most difficult time for residents and their families in living memory.”

There is no doubt that 2020 was a very difficult year for everyone, but none so more than residents and family members of our UK prisons.  Restrictions throughout the past 12 months have seen residents unable to have social visits for the most part of the year, some not at all, due to distance needed to be travelled which may not have been possible, even with a short let up of restrictions.

Purple Visits is aware that video calls are not comparable to those face to face, social visits.  However, during a time where restrictions have been put in place in order to keep residents safe, we can only hope that Purple Visits secure video calling, has given families a vital bridge to stay in touch, see loved ones faces, and give the residents the opportunity to ‘visit’ home via the video call.

The following quote, from the Ministry of Justice announcement, talks about the amount of calls which have been achieved.  Each of these calls is a resident seeing a loved one.  That’s important to remember. 

These figures are all due to the hard work of the many people behind Purple Visits,  within the Ministry of Justice, and at the prisons.

With the final installation of video call technology taking place last month, in just over 6 months, over 90,000 video calls have been made totalling almost 45,000 hours and connecting families in more than 100 countries, while social visits were suspended to help reduce the spread of the virus, save lives and protect the NHS.”

With positive feedback from families, residents and prison staff, we as a team are very proud to have been able to help so many residents keep in touch with their families.

You can read the announcement from the Ministry of Justice here