Maine Judicial Video Project

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Maine Judicial Video Project

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1. Maine Judicial Video Project Makes use of Bond Funds for technology improvements to enhance the efficiency of the Maine Judicial Branch Carried out nearly a year of systematic planning Committee members: MJB Office of Information Technology--Bruce Hall, Warren Armstrong Supreme Court--Hon. Susan Calkins, Justice, Cumberland County District Court--Hon. Paul Cote, Judge, Lewiston Superior Court--Hon. Andrew Mead, Justice, Penobscot County Administrative Office of the Courts --Deborah Carson, Financial Operations Officer, --Jennifer Kelley, Field Operations Specialist Pine Tree Legal Association—Hugh Calkins

5. Policy Thrust for Videoconferencing Gov. Baldacci’s Executive Order, 2004: “Agency and department heads will encourage the use of technologies that reduce state employee vehicle miles traveled.” Judicial Resource Team’s New Model for Scheduling and Allocating Resources, 2003 “We recommend that the Judicial Branch improve access to all available communication tools… [T]he courts should evaluate options to use videoconferencing for appropriate proceedings. These technologies are particularly appropriate in Maine, given the distance between courts, the distribution of its population, and the robust information technology infrastructure in place.”

6. Benefits of Using Court Video Video Arraignment reduced prisoner transport and associated costs improved public safety—reduced chances of escapes improved security in court and staff time for supervision in court Mental Health Hearings reduced costs to hospitals for escort staff and transportation avoids costs and security issues of alternative approach of carrying out court proceeding within hospital reduced stress and stigma for clients—avoids experience of being brought to court in shackles

7. Evaluation Results from Other States Wisconsin—IVC at 22 of 72 counties, 22 of 59 jails, 12 prisons, 5 mental hospitals Detailed model projection indicated 27% of prisoner transport costs and 18% of expert witness costs could be saved by IVC $1.5 million investment could save $2.3 million in first year Pennsylvania—20 of 65 counties using IVC 74% of stakeholders satisfied with efficiency gains Total staff time for processing detainee from leaving cell to release of remand reduced from 6.3 hrs. to 1.8 hrs. with IVC With ave. 14 video arraignments/mo., savings per site per year was estimated at $21,900 for law enforcement and $3,000 for court

8. Maine Judicial Video Project Based on review of models from others states, needs assessment work, and strategic planning, priorities for of interactive videoconferencing (IVC) in Maine’s court system: Arraignment and other pretrial proceedings Distant witness testimony—expert, victim; civil, criminal cases Mental health commitment hearings Non-courtroom case related uses attorney access to incarcerated clients continuing education case management and mediation

10. Survey Response: Value of IVC

11. Court Video Applications Worth Pursuing Survey responses (N=98) Pre-trial conferences 58% Video arraignment 54% Case management 44% Expert witness testimony 38% Distance education 32% Mental health hearings 22% Attorney-client sessions 21% (56-57% among juvenile corrections officers and trial attorneys)

12. Challenges to Court Uses of IVC reliable quality of communications and threat of disruption of court business due to malfunction need to dedicate a room at the jail for IVC use development of detailed procedures and protocols for each application aligning paperwork flow with video proceedings coordination of equipment scheduling to assure good balancing of courtroom use with effective access for other uses (education, case management, and attorney-client conferences sustainable funding of the system Organizational commitment to use videoconferencing.

13. Lessons Learned from MTS and Other Systems Change Projects Pilot applications before major rollout Need organizational commitment and not just pockets of efficiencies within a system Engage “champions” to lead on new approaches Engage regional stakeholders on adapting applications Develop systematic protocols and procedures Provide adequate training and technical support

14. Technology Rationale for choice of Polycom VSX as base equipment installed base, interoperability, dual ISDN/IP capability Expanded capability to be added for high volume courts doing video arraignment Two or more cameras with split screen view so defendant can see judge and courtroom at same time Visual Concert element for hub sites for easy delivery of presentations from laptop

15. Moving toward Plan-Part 2 Site selection based on needs Video arraignment—sites with significant rural distances or court security issues Mental health hearings—distance from hospital and case load Case Management officers—8 for whole state Chief Trial Judges or designees to serve as regional leaders among stakeholders New roles for burdened Court Clerks as Site Coordinators

16. Pilot Projects--Leading the Curve Mental health hearings Lewiston District Court linking with St. Mary’s Hospital—1 year Portland District Court with Spring Harbor Hospital—1 month Video arraignment Augusta District Court linking with Kennebec County jail—final planning Case related uses of system Region 3 (AN/OX/FR Counties) use for case management, corrections linkages, mediation—final planning

17. Implementation Plan—Phase 1 Sept. ’05-Feb. ‘06 Get pilot video arraignment in Kennebec County operational Complete installations for Region 3 (AN/OX/FR Counties) for case management pilot Install units, train, develop and implement video arraignment for Aroostook County Establish “Administrative Hub Network” with additional installation at 7 additional court sites Inmate appearance for civil cases (I.e. divorce, child custody) from D.O.C. facilities with Lewiston and Aroostook District Courts.

19. Implementation Plan-Phase 2 Mar. ’06-Aug. ‘06 Install units and train for Region 6 (SA/KN/LI Counties), Region 1 (YO County), Region 4 (KE/SO Counties) Work with York and Sagadahoc/Lincoln Counties on purchasing units for jails (regional jail for latter to be completed by Oct. ’06) Development of protocols and procedures Implement video arraignment and case related uses

20. Implementation Plan—Phase 3 Sept. ’06-Apr. ‘07 Installations in Region 7 (Washington/Hancock Co.) and Region 2 (Cumberland Co.) Work with counties on establishment of units for jails in Washington and Knox Counties Train users, develop protocols, and implement video arraignment and case related uses Complete final report on utilization, evaluation, and sustainability

21. What is VRI? 30 frames per second ISDN-based system “Open architecture” Uses licensed, certified medical interpreters

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