The use of video conferencing for arraignments, bail hearings, and other preliminary hearings can reduce crowding in courtrooms, reduce the cost of security personnel escorting prisoners, permit the use of security forces in other needed areas, and speed up case proceedings. Video conferencing can be used for arraignment and preliminary hearings, remote witness testimony (including expert and child witnesses), and to conduct remote interviews.
Whether or not the court currently permits video arraignment, courtroom workstations, office spaces, and conference and meeting rooms should be designed to accommodate the use of video conferencing. If video arraignment is implemented, all courtrooms, judicial chambers, and judicial conference rooms should have access to video conferencing equipment.
The camera coverage for video arraignments should include the judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, defendant, and the prisoner at the jail.
The courtroom does not need to be large. Video hearing also can be conducted in a standard courtroom.
Lighting is important to ensure that all individuals can be clearly seen. Extraneous noises should be eliminated so that parties may hear each other.
All ADA requirements should be observed.
No special requirements.
No special security requirements.
No special furnishings are required.
One set of cameras and a large-screen video monitor should be installed in the courtroom and in the jail. Although not essential, a large screen permits others in the courtroom to view the proceedings. Smaller monitors and a camera should be installed at the judge's bench, attorney tables, and court reporter station.
A facsimile machine at both ends of the video link may be used to transmit paperwork and signatures.
Most video conferencing is now being conducted over the internet using laptop computers and even hand held tablets. This may one day replace many of the fixed camera video systems.