Video Technologies

Resource Guide

Not only has videoconferencing proven to be effective within the courtroom, but it likewise benefits attorneys and judges by saving time and cutting costs of the entire judicial process. While the preliminary start-up costs can be substantial, the cost-benefit analysis shows that these costs are quickly offset by the enhancements that it brings to the courtroom.

Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.


Featured Links

Clarke, Thomas M. Technology and Reengineering. (2010). Future Trends in State Courts. Courts have been improving service via technology for decades. But the time has come for courts to use technology to help rethink and reengineer their operations.
Webster, Larry. Evaluation of Video Conferencing. (2009).

This is a 2009 Court Services Division Report of Mesa County Municipal Court.

NCSC Video Conferencing Survey. Through a grant from the State Justice Institute, the NCSC surveyed the use of video conferencing in state courts across the country.  This page contains the results of our findings on various topics, including:  Sources of funding for video conferencing systems; extent of video for various types of proceedings; and statutes governing the use of video conferencing.
Court Technology Bulletin.

This online version of the Court Technology Bulletin features cutting edge information about technology and the court community.  (Note: Digitized copies of the printed version of the Bulletins from 1989 to 2003 are available in the Digital Archive.)

Technology.

NCSC Area of Expertise.

Technology Tools.

NCSC Area of Expertise.

Production Services.

Institute of Court Management provides a full service production capability to create video components of online courts, develop interactive DVDs and deliver Web streaming content.

Videoconferencing/Teleconferencing Vendors.

Videoconferencing/Teleconferencing Vendors from the Court Technology Vendor list.

New Horizons in Information Sharing: Video Technology for Courts: Changing Technology and Applications.

Presentation from the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the National Court Technology Conference examines video applications in court proceedings.

General

Report to the Arizona Judicial Council. (June 2009). Criminal Rules Video Conference Advisory Committee

An examination of the proposed use of video conferencing in the state of Arizona.

Video Conferencing/Video Arraignment. (July 2007). Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio CCNO will assist in enhancing the safety of courtroom personnel, the general public and CCNO Transportation Officers while decreasing the cost of transportation as well as the potential for escape by establishing a video conferencing link between the CCNO and the respective courtrooms for the purpose of conducting selected court appearances for offenders housed at CCNO.
Videoconferencing Approval in the Family Court Statewide. (January 2007). South Carolina Judicial Department This is an order from the Supreme Court of South Carolina that finds that the use of videoconferencing enhances the efficiency and security in courtroom proceedings, while maintaining the constitutional rights of the defendants
J. Douglas Walker. Intelligent Video Technologies Enhance Court Operations and Security. (2006). Future Trends in State Courts 2006.

This article shows the latest advances in intelligent video surveillance, video streaming, and Web-based conferencing can help courts secure their facilities, increase operational efficiency, and improve the administration of justice. Combining technologies increases the scope and utility of applications, while coordinating with other government technology initiatives enables courts to realize even better cost/benefit ratios.

Bridging the Distance: Implementing Videoconferencing in Wisconsin. (2005). Wisconsin Court System A manual to help guide jurisdictions as they consider utilizing videoconferencing technology.  
Testimony by Video Teleconferencing in Criminal Cases. (January 2004). State of New Hampshire "Proceedings in Court" for expert witness testimony via  video teleconferencing.
CLEMIS Video:Conferencing (OakVideo) . (2003). Oakland County, Michigan

CLEMIS OakVideo implements video conferencing equipment to connect district and circuit courts, the prosecutor’s office, jail booking facilities, and law enforcement agencies.

Your Return on a Safer Tomorrow. (2003). Statistical Analysis Center - Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance This is a cost-benefit analysis on Wisconsin's videoconferencing project.  It projects a $2,320,972 cost savings on an investment of $1,500,250.   
Video Conferencing -- Contacts and Information. (2001). New Jersey Judiciary The video network is in place in every courthouse in the state, as well as in the Supreme Court, most Appellate Division chambers, and the New Jersey Law Center, headquarters of the state bar association. The hub of the network is located in the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) in Trenton.
Briefing Papers: Videoconferencing. (1995). Technology Programs.

One of a series of six technology briefing papers relating to emerging technologies of the time.

The Judicial Interactive Video Network. Montana Courts A collaborative effort between the Court Assessment Program, the Montana Juvenile Probation Officer's Association (JPOA) and Montana Legal Services to allow district court judges to expedite the handling of cases before them while maintaining the integrity of the court hearing.  Montana Judicial Video Network Phase II Report.
Video Court Appearance. National Court Programs Inc. Santa Monica, CA National Court Programs, Inc.is a service provider of VCAs.  A VCA is a Video Court Appearance conducted remotely.  Attorneys now have the option to appear for a Law and Motion hearing by VCA in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County.

Online Articles

Gutierrez, Jessaca Video Court Hearings . (August 2009). SVC: Sound and Video Contractors Installation Spotlight: Limestone County courthouse, Alabama.   Videophones provide an efficient alternative to transporting the defendants to the courthouse for initial hearings and for other projects in the future.
Webster, Larry. Evaluation of Videoconferencing Technology: Mesa Arizona Municipal Court. (May 2009). Court Consulting Services.

An evaluation of a proposal to conduct court hearings for in-custody defendants via videoconferencing technology, considering technological, operational, and legal issues and constraints.

Elbow, Steven. Courtroom videoconferencing -- a cost saver or just a hassle?. (April 2009). The Capital Times, Madison, WI Sheriff wants the judges to make more use of the videoconferencing equipment that was installed in the courthouse when it was built in 2006.
Rains, Cass Court Hearings Turning High Tech . (June 2008). EnidNews.com, OK

Court officials anticipate that a new video conference system allowing inmates in the county jail to appear in court via video will save money and increase safety

Crimaldi. Laura Patchy Reception for TV Justice. (January 2008). Boston Herald, Boston, MA Justice can be beamed into a courtroom by remote control, but 14 years after the state introduced videoconferencing for court proceedings the technology has yet to take hold throughout the judicial and correction systems.
Feals, Jennifer. Video Conferencing Changes Court Trials. (April 2007). The SeaCoast Online In several Maine counties, prisoners appear before the judge via video conferencing for arraignments and routine court appointments.  The reasoning behind this approach is that video conferencing enhances security in the courtrooms since offenders will not be present and the process is more time efficient and less costly.  
Scott, Andrew. Videoconferences Save Court Money. (July 2006). Pocono Record Videoconferenced proceedings in Monroe County Court in Pennsylvania could save the county time and money associated with prisoner transportation and reduce the risk of inmates escaping while being driven to and from jail. 
Walsh, Trudy. Video Conferencing Via the Web and Not. (December 2004). GCN Security, sharp images and savings. That’s what criminal justice organizations in Florida and Michigan were looking for in a videoconferencing system. One found the solution in a dedicated network; the other concluded that a browser-based system met its needs. Both reaped similar savings in time, travel and other expenses.   
Willet, Willis and Mary Beth Kirven. Assessment of Video Conferencing in the South Dakota Unified Justice System. (October 2004). Court Services Division.

This resource looks at how video conferencing has impacted the overall efficiency and processes of the South Dakota Unified Judicial System.

Hewitt, William. Video Court Reporting: A Primer for Trial and Appellate Court Judges. (June 1991).

This historic report addresses the impact and functions of operatorless video court reporting systems.

Federal Courts

Advantages of Videoconferencing Grow with Use. (August 2006). The Third Branch This article discusses the results of a Federal Judicial Center survey of judges from five circuits concerning their opinions on videoconferencing.  The results from the survey indicate an overall favorable attitude towards videoconferencing because the practice saves both time and money.  

Video Record

Standards for Digital Video Recording Systems . (March 2007). Michigan State Administrative Office These standards are established to ensure that courts purchase and operate video recording systems that are designed to meet the special requirements of courtroom recording. The standards include minimum system requirements in a checklist format to guide to courts when selecting digital video recording systems
Video Record System Implementation Manual. (February 2002). Michigan Video Courtroom Users Group Video does not eliminate the need for written transcripts. The Michigan Court of Appeals requires traditional written transcripts.
Maher, James. Do Video Transcripts Affect the Scope of Appellate Review?. (May 1990). 107 pages. Northeastern Regional Office.

[An Evaluation in the Kentucky Court of Appeals). This report examines whether the use of videotaped transcripts is introducing questions of fact, particularly in the form of witness credibility, into appellate court decisionmaking.

Green Courts

Judges and Lawyers Go Green Everyday with CourtCall Appearances!. (September 2008). Los Angeles Courts In a period of ten years this project helped to eliminate approximately 2,000,000 car trips to and from Courts helping to save on the order of 2,000,000 gallons of gasoline. 
Environmentally Friendly. CourtCall Assume that an attorney makes two roundtrips per week for various Court appearances, at 1 gallon of gas each way (20 mpg). Each gallon of gas emits approximately 20-28 pounds of CO2 into our air.

Archives Prior 2000

Use of Interactive Video for Court Proceedings: Legal Status and Use Nationwide. (1995). National Institute of Corrections This is a 1995 report from the National Institute of Corrections that defines the use of video conferencing in the states at that time.