CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals launched a video system in 1998 that allows defendants to participate in preliminary and parole hearings as well as trials from jail rather than having to appear in court.
The system saves the state about $3 million in prisoner transportation costs each year, Justice Robin Davis of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals said Thursday in Charles Town.
Davis said the system was established in the late 1990s to cut down on the costs and dangers of transporting prisoners for arraignments. Some counties are 90 minutes away from regional jails.
Speaking in the Jefferson County Circuit Courthouse, Davis addressed nearly 30 supreme court justices, court administrators and executives from nine states and the District of Columbia as part of the three-day 2012 Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators, which ends today in Shepherdstown, W.Va.