Judges hold web conference with prisoners to cut court costs

Thursday, January 5 2012

Inmates are getting a taste of technology instead of a day out of jail as courts find that video conferencing cuts back on costs. Judges in several states are investing in web meeting technology that they plan to use for online meetings instead of holding public hearings for prisoners. Keeping inmates in jail and out of the courtroom saves money and time as well as increasing safety.

Using video conferencing technology can save time by reducing the delays of transporting and processing inmates. In addition, it speeds up court proceedings by encouraging witness testimony.  Courts may also experience an increase in efficiency since judges using video courtrooms would be able to move more quickly through testimony and arraignment.

Courts switching to online conferencing are looking to defer the time and expense of driving inmates from correctional facilities to court houses. Transporting prisoners requires the court to pay for police escorts and secure vehicles, which can be costly if they have to travel long distances.

Moving inmates in an out of correctional facilities and transporting them to attend court proceedings can increase safety concerns for inmates and officers. Using online conferencing technology that keeps prisoners in custody throughout the process increases safety overall.