In 2009, Judicial Information Systems expanded a video conferencing project with the Department of Corrections to include the State Police Forensic Lab and state mental health facilities. Through this project, prisoners and mental health patients can participate in court hearings without the risks and costs involved in transporting them to court. Michigan State Police technicians can also use video conferencing to participate in arraignments, pretrial conferences, and other court hearings without the time and expense of travel.
Using a grant from the State Police Office of Highway Safety and Judicial Technology Improvement Funds, Judicial Information Systems began the planning process for the implementation of video conferencing in15 pilot courts. These 15 courts are of varying jurisdiction and locations.
Plans for 2010, include site visits to determine hardware and network connectivity requirements, followed by installation of the video conferencing equipment and connection to the Department of Corrections, State Police Forensic Lab and state mental health facilities. Every step of the project will be documented and evaluated to establish guidelines for trial courts.