New virtual courtroom technology saves money and increases safety (Update: Conway cams in place, Aynor next)

photo by flickr member s_falkow

Update, 5/2/12:  As of yesterday, Conway's investment in court cams was put to use and now all charges will first be seen via the Internet.

You can read this WMBF story for more details about the anticipated cost savings.  Aynor is slated to be next. 

Update, 1/11/12:  The City of Conway is next in line to begin using a virtual courtroom experience for plea and bond hearings.  It could be in use within the next few weeks.

While the price tag will run the city approximately $10,000, administrators believe that cost will be recouped within the current fiscal year due to the major reduction in arrestee transport costs associated with this new technology.  The additional benefit is the ability for officers to remain on duty, thereby keeping Conway safer.

You can read the full write-up over at WMBF.

First report, 9/21/11:  With the green light given by the Horry County Council to municipal and magistrate judges to use videoconferencing between their location and the county jail, the need to transport arrestees between the two will be unnecessary.

Taxpayer money will be saved on the gas once needed to take the arrestee from the jail to the municipality.  Officers' time will be better spent by remaining on patrol for more hours in a day if they are not responsible for taking arrestees from one place to another.  In addition, the risk of further incident is decreased by keeping arrestees in one location. 

You can read the full write-up, including a video on WMBF.

Videoconferencing in courts isn't new to our state.  The Supreme Court of South Carolina approved it by municipal and magistrate judges in 2003.  Approval was also given to family courts in 2007

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