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|Courtroom video conferencing system unveiled|
A new courtroom video conferencing system was unveiled in the Seventh Judicial District courtroom in Vidalia today.
The system was purchased and installed by the Concordia Parish Sheriff's Office at an approximate cost of $2,500.
Purchased through PTS Solutions in Harrisonburg, the new systems operates with videophones through the Internet VPN (Virtual Private Networking).
This system offers greater convenience to the judges and the courtroom staff, allowing arraignments and magistrate hearings to be held at any time of the day.
For the Sheriff's Office and Correctional Facilities, this will eliminate transportation costs involved in the transporting of prisoners back and forth from the Ferriday prison to the Vidalia courtroom, coupled with less safety/security issues due to non-transporting.
Additionally, the courtroom security officers will now be able to focus more on those entering and exiting the courtroom instead of focusing primarily on inmates.
Maxwell said the most important aspect of the video conferencing concept is security.
"Anytime you move or transport a prisoner, there is inherent risk involved," he said. "This new system cuts those risks out entirely, as well as cutting out the transportation costs that would have been incurred if the inmate had to personally appear in court."
Maxwell added that video conferencing makes the courtroom a much safer place for all involved.
According to state law, the video conferencing may only be used for magistrate hearings and arraignments.
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