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Teleconferencing changes face of courts

November 16, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — In an effort to improve safety and save money, video teleconferencing will begin soon for the Whitley County Court Systems.

New equipment recently installed will take advantage of technology, and allow some court hearings to be held with the defendant not physically present in the Courthouse.

Among the benefits expected to be reaped are increased savings and safety.
Sheriff Mark Hodges said a great deal of time and money has been spent on inmate transportation.

“We have numerous court hearings that require us to drive to a DOC (Department of Corrections) facility, transport the prisoner back for a 10-minute hearing with a judge. We turn around and drive them back to the DOC facility,” Hodges said. “It can be a full day’s worth of driving, gas and the time it takes to pay an officer to do that. A lot of this now will be taken care of through video-conference.”

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