Video conferencing allows justice system to conduct hearings without inmates leaving jail

Wednesday, July 28 2010

A video conferencing-based arraignment system has been implemented to rave reviews in Plymouth, Indiana.

Typically, a prisoner must be taken out of his or her cell, handcuffed, shackled and driven to the courthouse for arraignments and hearings that usually take no more than 10 minutes. Thanks to state-of-the-art video conferencing software, these short hearings can be performed without a prisoner ever leaving the jail, reports Pilot News.

"There’s a lot of time involved and now my people can be more efficient in getting things done here that would normally have had to be pushed off to another shift or may not get done," said Marshall Country sheriff John van Vactor. "The court can be more efficient too. They can do initial hearings whenever they have the time to do it."

He added that the program is also much safer for residents of the town, since prisoners never have to be let out of the jail facility. They are simply walked down a hall to the video conferencing room, and the hearings are held virtually.

Video conferencing has found a number of non-business applications recently, including applications in town governments and programs in the healthcare field that provide for remote patient consultations.ADNFCR-3295-ID-19911824-ADNFCR