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DENTON (CBS 11 NEWS) – A new video visitation system is causing uproar and protest amongst families who have loved ones inside the Denton County Jail.

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The sheriff’s office made the decision to move away from in-person visits and use a video system from a remote location.

“It’s killing mom,” said Cynthia Rice.

Rice has not seen her son Derrick in months. She admits he, like many young people, have made bad decisions. She feels like families are being punished.

“When we were able to visit him through the thick glass. But at least there some form of warmth with that,” said Rice.

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Dozens showed up Thursday to protest the policy.

Families are complaining the video system glitches and that after two free visits, they have to pay and use a camera from home.

“How is it that visiting someone through a TV screen, or through a computer screen is more enhanced than actually seeing them in person? It’s not,” said Joshua Gravens, a community activist.

The sheriff’s office released a statement writing in part, “People don’t like change, and this is a big change. We always make it our goal to act in the best interest of Denton County as a whole. Video visitation also reduces the risk of contraband being introduced into the jail.”

The sheriff’s office said once the system beings earning profits, it will go back into the inmate commissary fund.

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