Technology just made court proceedings a little easier in Barnstable County. The Barnstable County Sheriff's Office reports that recently, the first inmates in Barnstable County appeared before a judge via video link.
Connected by a two-way video conference link, the inmates remained at the Barnstable County Correctional Facility in Bourne while appearing before Judge James O'Neill, Chief Justice of the First District Court in Barnstable Village. Judge O'Neill was able to address warrant issues for three inmates, without the inmates having to be transported to the courthouse.
A round-trip from the jail to the courthouse and back is 35-miles and can take up to an hour each way. Video conferencing saves time, money and lowers safety risks inherent with transporting inmates.
Video conferencing is best suited for bail hearings and routine matters, and will not take the place of defendants being physically present during trials. "For routine matters like Judge O’Neill handled today this is perfect. I’d say we’re off the goal line and on our way to greater security at less cost. Those are advances everyone can appreciate," said Barnstable County Sheriff James Cummings.