MDOC Expands Videoconferencing
The Michigan Department of Corrections was recently featured in a Government Technology magazine article that touted the use and expansion of videoconferencing throughout the Department.
The MDOC now connects prisoners from inside secure prisons with courtrooms, hearing officers, Michigan's Parole and Commutation Board, community partners, and others who need to communicate with the prisoner.
The technology allows for real-time interactions between the two parties while reducing transportation costs and the inherent security risks involved with removing a prisoner from a secure correctional facility.
The MDOC is now in the process of expanding the system to include all circuit courts in Michigan. The four-year project will securely link all MDOC facilities with the circuit courts in each Michigan county, allowing greater flexibility for judges to hold a variety of court proceedings with the ability to record all of those proceedings for the court record.
Each system costs a little over $20,000, but will pay for itself in about a year with the reduction in transportation costs.
Department video technology guru Lynette Holloway said technology improvements and enhanced networking capabilities are allowing courts to take advantage of the videoconferencing alternative.
"I know that video arraignments have been going on between courts and jails for a long time," Holloway said. "The problem is that a lot of those connections were coaxial or hardwired and not IP, public-based. As the courts are upgrading their networks, it makes it possible for them to talk with outside agencies."
Michigan is a leader in videoconferencing technology and is proud to share innovative technology solutions that reduce costs and enhance public safety. The expansion of videoconferencing capacity into the court system accomplishes both of those goals.
For the complete article in Government Technology magazine, please visit the link below: