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Registering and setting up for video links


Getting started

Please read the Technical requirements section before beginning.

If you have any technical issues during the set-up, please call our troubleshooting helpline (Tel: 0845 300 3835) during office hours.

The following steps have to be completed to allow you to use the system.

Follow the links below for more detailed guidance on how to complete each step:

Step 1: Registration and booking a test visit

Step 2: Download appropriate software to your device

Step 3: Test visit with SLAB

Step 4: Booking a visit - Once you have successfully completed the test visit, you can book a video link visit with the prison. When you book a visit you will receive an email containing the unique code for that visit that you should use when you dial-in.

Step 5: Dial in to prison to conduct video link meeting with client: At the appointed time, using the software downloaded, you should dial into the BT bridge using the unique code provided in your confirmation email.


Step 1: Registration and booking a test visit

Complete and sign the video link mandate to register. Please select a version of the mandate below:

A separate mandate needs to 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 SLAB at videolink@slab.org.uk

In your email please:

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Step 2: Download appropriate software to your device

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

Desktops/Laptops: There are software clients available for desktop PC‘s and laptops, however most come with a licence fee.

A software client can be downloaded from Polycom. Follow the steps below:

  1. Select Download free trial
  2. Provide the registration details as requested and press Submit
  3. A new window will open – select Click here to download
  4. Select Click Here for Trial Download for either Windows or Mac, depending on your operating system
  5. You will then be prompted to agree the terms & conditions
  6. You should then follow the on screen instructions to complete the download.
  7. An icon will be created on your desktop
  8. When you first open the software you can use the 30-day free trial. Enter the 'Individual Account' area and select the 'Continue' option.
  9. Once the 30-day has expired, you need to pay a one-off fee to continue using the software. Polycom provides technical support to help set up an account.

Tablets: Suitable free software clients are available for tablets and can be easily downloaded. Follow the steps below:

Smartphones: Please note, because of mobile network connection issues smartphones are not recommended for making visits by video link and are not supported.

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Step 3: Test visit with SLAB

Confirmation of the date and time of the test visit will be sent by SLAB to the email address you provided at the time of registration.

The confirmation test visit scheduling email is the same format as the SPS scheduling email you will receive once you start booking prison video visits.

To complete the test, you have to ‘dial into’ the system at the appointed time/date.  

The confirmation email contains the unique code and pin number you must enter into the video software client you are using.

Please note: The code must be entered exactly as printed on the e mail. It is recommended that the code is copied and pasted as opposed to re-typed as any error will prevent a connection taking place.

This code can be used only once - and only for the date and time specified and by the person (agent) assigned the video link.

Below is an example of the email you will receive when you book a visit at the prisons (Click for larger version)

Where you use an outlook calendar you will be able to save the meeting and this will update your outlook calendar.

SPS_Video_booking_example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have produced a video providing guidance on how to enter the dial code and pin.

Desktop/Laptops: If you downloaded the Polycom software you should see the following screen when it opens:

VideoLink_polycom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut and paste the blue unique code from the scheduling email into the space provided.

  1. Select 'Call'.
         Note: it is important to make sure you have set the software to enable SIP calls and ensure the dial is set to SIP. To do this, go to settings [the small cog symbol in the bottom right of the screen] and select 'SIP'. The box entitled 'Enable SIP Calls' should be ticked.
  2. If you have dialled in at the allocated time and have used the correct SIP code you should then be connected to the relevant VC interview room in the prison.
  3. You should then follow the procedure as specified below.
  4. If you experience any connection problems you should refer to the troubleshooting guidance provided. Back to top

Tablets

Open the software client.

You will then be presented with the following Dial Pad Screen.

VideoLink_tablet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Paste the SIP code from the BT scheduling email into the Dial box then select Call. If you have dialled in at the allocated time and have used the correct SIP code you should then be connected to the relevant VC interview room in the prison via a bridging system.
  2. Please ensure you copy the complete code.
  3. You should then follow the procedure as specified below.
  4. If you experience any connection problems you should refer to the troubleshooting guidance provided.

Once a connection has been established the operator will provide feedback on picture and sound quality so that the system can be configured to operate at an appropriate ‘speed’.

You cannot book a prison video link visit until you have successfully completed a test visit.

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Step 4: Booking a visit

Once the test visit has been successfully completed, SLAB will send confirmation of this to SPS.  SPS will then add your details to the video link booking system, please note this can take at least 24 hours.  

Once SPS have added you to booking system they will send you an email advising that you can now book prison video link visits. Solicitors booking a ‘visit’ by video link follow the same procedure as for booking an actual physical visit via the agents’ visits phone line at the prison. Remember to specify that you wish to conduct a visit by video link when booking the visit.

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 7 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. The email contains the unique code you must use when you connect with the prison. See Step 3 above for details about how to find and enter the unique code.

When you book a visit confirmation of the date and time of the visit will be sent by SPS from the following email address: tms@sps.pnn.gov.uk.

For added security, email 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.

Please note: The code must be entered exactly as printed on the email.

It is recommended that the code is copied and pasted as opposed to re-typed, as any error will prevent a connection taking place. This code can be used only once and only for the date and time specified.

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Step 5: Dial in to prison to conduct video link meeting with client

To dial into the prison you will have to open the software client.

You must ‘dial in’ as near as possible to the time specified. Prison staff will allow no more than 5 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. A fresh booking will require to be made.

Once connection made all devices

Once the connection is established staff at the prison will confirm the identity of the solicitor and the prisoner to be seen. Staff will ask to view the agent’s current law society identification card and check the practitioner number with the legal agent.

Once this has been carried out the prisoner will be brought into the room and the member of staff will leave so that the ‘visit’ can take place in accordance with the Prisons Rules (Scotland) Act 2011 – ‘in sight but out of hearing’.

At the conclusion of the visit both the legal agent and member of prison staff should ensure that the connection to the bridge is terminated.

It is the solicitors’ responsibility to advise their clients of the intention to conduct the visit by video link. Prison staff will ensure the prisoner is aware of this before they enter the room.

They will explain the procedure and what the prisoner should do at the conclusion of the ‘visit’, or if there is a problem
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Procedure where there is a connection failure

If you are unable to successfully connect to the bridge you should immediately advise the agents’ visits desk that there is a problem.

This will allow the prison to keep the connection to the bridge open and manage the prisoner pending a potential solution being found.

The helpdesk will assist with any connection problems. The helpdesk number appears on all confirmation emails.

Where a solution is found the visit can then take place.

Where there is a problem which cannot be immediately rectified the legal agent should make alternative arrangements as appropriate with the prison. Prison staff cannot help with problems experienced with the agent's device or connection.

Where there is a problem at the prison, prison staff will similarly make contact with the legal agent and advise them of the problem so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

Where you have a problem connecting to the bridge and SLAB’s helpdesk (who you can contact on 0845 300 3835) are unable to assist you should advise any prisons where you have visits by video link booked of the problem so that visits can be cancelled or re-scheduled and if necessary alternative arrangements put in place.

Please contact: Christine Connerton, Digital Services Marketing Officer.
Email:
videolink@slab.org.uk Direct dial: 0131 240 2057

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