Officials in Greene County, Indiana, have now approved the installation of a new wireless video conferencing system - linking courtrooms with prison facilities across the state, according to the Greene County Daily World.
According to the paper, officials have been researching the use of video conferencing technology for the past year to help reduce transportation and other costs.
Thanks to the new video link, prisoners will no longer need to be brought to court for preliminary hearings or other minor procedures. Officials told the paper that it wasn't unusual for a 10-minute hearing to require an eight-hour round trip drive for a police officer.
"In transportation alone it's going to save us money. We are also going with the wireless which means there will be a higher initial cost, but there is no monthly fees involved," committee member council councilman Ed Cullison told the Daily World.
The installation of the system will cost approximately $67,000 - which also includes funding to upgrade the court's computer network to handle the increased bandwidth. The paper reports the city council will debate the project funding next week.
Other areas around the country have also begun using video conferencing technology in other parts of the prison system. The Ledger reports that prison officials in Polk County, Florida, have installed a secure link so lawyers can meet with their clients in jail remotely.