Some 7600 purportedly tamper-proof phones were issued to inmates by the Scottish Government at a cost of almost £3m.
New report finds some prisoners with complex mental health problems were experiencing up to 82 days in segregation.
University of Glasgow-led study found 66% of female inmates had suffered repeat head injuries for many years.
Prison inspectors described this is a 'key concern'.
New figures from the Scottish Government show that 17,701 such visits were made between June and the end of November.
Glasgow City Council has granted the Scottish Prison Service planning permission in principle.
The scheme was announced ten weeks ago to support the mental health of inmates after visits were banned due to coronavirus.
In 2018, Rene Howieson was ordered to spend at least 14 years behind bars for the murder of Colin Skilbeck.
Scottish Prison Service confirms death of 65-year-old Alex Drysdale at HMP Perth.
Officer worked at Polmont but is not thought to have contracted virus at the jail.
The move follows the suspension of family visits to prisons as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.