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Will prison video chat one day replace family visits?

17 December 2013 Last updated at 00:01 GMT

We've all heard about making a phone call from jail, but what about a video call? Similar to Skype, video visitation allows inmates to see their friends and family while they talk.

Prisons and jails in the United States are increasingly adopting the technology, but there are significant concerns about the cost to inmates' families and fears video chat will eventually lead to the elimination of in-person visits.

The BBC's Laura Trevelyan travelled to Portsmouth, Virginia to see how it works.

Produced by Ted Metzger; filmed by Allen McGreevy; edited by Bill McKenna

Living Online is a series of video features published every Tuesday on the BBC News website which look at how technology converges with culture and all aspects of our daily lives.

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