Please complete and sign the video link mandate to register. There are two versions of the mandate to choose from:
A separate mandate must be completed for each solicitor within the firm who wishes to conduct visits by video link.
Once completed the mandate needs to be signed, dated and emailed to us.
You need to download and install a video conferencing software ‘client’ to your device. This is a dialling tool designed for video conferencing with appropriate security levels.
Software such as ‘FaceTime’ or ‘Skype’ cannot be used.
During trials the ‘Polycom RealPresence’ software client was successfully used. This guidance is based on the Polycom client but the principles apply to the other available options:
Set-up of Polycom [PDF]
Smartphones: Please note, because of mobile network connection issues smartphones are not recommended for making visits by video link and are not supported.
We will send confirmation to SPS once the test visit has been successfully completed. SPS will then add your details to the video link booking system (please note this can take at least 24 hours).
They will then send you an email advising that you can now book prison video link visits.
You should follow the same procedure when booking a ‘visit’ by video link as for booking a physical visit by using the agents’ visits phone line at the prison. Remember to specify that you wish to conduct the visit by video link when booking.
Agents booking a visit should do so at least 24 hours in advance of the visit. However a shorter notification period may be possible if the prison is able to accommodate the request. Visits by video link can be booked up to seven days in advance
Exclusions: Currently a visit by video link should not be undertaken where:
Once you have booked your visit with the prison you will receive a confirmation email from firstname.lastname@example.org.. The email contains the unique code you must use when contacting the prison and confirms the date and time the visit will take place.
For added security, the confirmation from SPS will contain a pin number in addition to the dial code. To contact the prison the dial code should be entered into your device. When you are connected you should enter the PIN number followed by the # key.
To dial into the prison you will have to open your software client.
Before opening the Polycom application ensure that other applications such as social media sites or news applications are closed. If these applications are running in the background and update during video link visits, this can impact the quality of the connection.
You must ‘dial in’ as near as possible to the time specified. Prison staff will allow no more than five minutes from the appointed start time for the agent to make the connection. Unless the agent has advised the prison of a delay or a problem, the connection will be terminated and the prisoner returned to the hall.
Once terminated the connection cannot be re-established and a fresh booking will have to be made.
Please contact: Gill Mulligan by email if you have any questions about this process.