Michigan courts put video conferencing into effect in the past year

Thursday, December 15 2011

Two county courts in Michigan are enforcing video conferencing tactics instead of transporting inmates across county lines and forcing forensic experts to testify in the courtroom. The $30,000 equipment connects both Clare and Gladwin counties' jails and courts, forensic centers and about 60 sheriff departments in the state, according to the Gladwin County Record.

The use of video conferencing has saved the district $800 to $1000 per case, as well as officers' lost time due to traveling back and forth. The officers can ensure a safer environment for neighborhood residents and tend to their primary job - protecting the community. The amount of time saved during the technologically advanced court room video conference also has benefited the department. What once took over a half hour to complete now takes about 10 minutes. 

Additionally, the Michigan county officials have noticed the benefits of video conferencing when the defendants are mental health patients. The defendant can continue to undergo designated treatment without disrupting his routine by meeting in the courtroom via internet.

Administrative meetings have also improved in efficiency since the implementation of video conferencing. The online meetings have allowed police officials to discuss and approve matters from their county departments instead of wasting time and costs with unnecessary travel.