Video arraignments for county courthouse - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Video arraignments for county courthouse

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - For the first time Friday, the Comanche County Courthouse arraigned inmates through video conferencing, and the new system didn't cost taxpayers a dime. The inmates will stay in the jail, and appear in court through a video conferencing program similar to Skype. Inmates can enter their plea, be notified of their bond and next court date all from their cell, never having to set foot inside the courthouse.

A grant from The Oklahoma Bar Foundation allowed the county to set up $31,000 worth of equipment in all the courtrooms and the jail.

While part of the reason was to bring the courthouse into the 21st century, District Judge Emmit Tayloe saw this as a way to add a layer of security to the courthouse.
"We have public here to get passports, to get married, to pay their taxes, small claims court,” said Tayloe. “And they shouldn't be exposed to prisoners as much as they are before today."

Before, inmates would go through the elevator doors, walk down the hallways and into one of the courtrooms to be arraigned. With the new system, that will lower the number of inmates walking through the halls.

William Hobbs, Comanche County Jail Administrator says they move the inmates in and out of the courthouse about 150 times a day. With video arraignments, that number will cut in half.

"Any time we take any of the inmates out of the secure area of the jail we are at risk for something,” said Hobbs. “Potential escapes, assaults or interaction with the victim of some kind. We don't know so we have to be ready for any of that."

Hobbs says this system will also keep the jailers working in the jail instead of shuttling the inmates to the courthouse at least twice a day.

Judge Tayloe says on all other court appearances, inmates will still visit the court house in person much like other counties that have implemented this system.

"It was built in I believe 1974,” said Tayloe. “So for over 40 years, we've done it this way. And I knew there was a better way, and I think we pulled that off."

Something that really saves the county time and money is they did install this system in the juvenile detention center, which is not on site like the county jail is. Judge Tayloe says he hopes this will increase the confidentiality of these cases that deal with minors.

Judge Tayloe says they also can use this technology for more than just arraignments. Lawyers can make presentations on it during trial, and an inmate can talk to their lawyer from the jail faster than meeting in person.

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • GOP struggles to salvage immigration bill, postpones vote

    GOP struggles to salvage immigration bill, postpones vote

    Thursday, June 21 2018 12:41 AM EDT2018-06-21 04:41:36 GMT
    Saturday, June 23 2018 7:45 PM EDT2018-06-23 23:45:13 GMT
    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite). Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., joined by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., left, and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, talks following a closed-door conference with fellow Rep...(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite). Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., joined by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., left, and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, talks following a closed-door conference with fellow Rep...

    An ambitious House GOP immigration overhaul is teetering ahead of voting.

    An ambitious House GOP immigration overhaul is teetering ahead of voting.

  • Plans unclear for reuniting separated immigrant children

    Plans unclear for reuniting separated immigrant children

    Friday, June 22 2018 6:06 AM EDT2018-06-22 10:06:01 GMT
    Saturday, June 23 2018 7:44 PM EDT2018-06-23 23:44:47 GMT
    (AP Photo/David J. Phillip). Jesus Funes, 19-months, cries as his mother, Diva Funes, both immigrants from Honduras, holds him after being escorted back to Reynosa, Mexico, Thursday, June 21, 2018. The family, who was seeking asylum, said they were tol...(AP Photo/David J. Phillip). Jesus Funes, 19-months, cries as his mother, Diva Funes, both immigrants from Honduras, holds him after being escorted back to Reynosa, Mexico, Thursday, June 21, 2018. The family, who was seeking asylum, said they were tol...

    About 500 of the more than 2,300 children separated from their families at the border have been reunited since May, a senior Trump administration official says.

    About 500 of the more than 2,300 children separated from their families at the border have been reunited since May, a senior Trump administration official says.

  • Trump jabbed first, and now world hits back in trade fight

    Trump jabbed first, and now world hits back in trade fight

    Friday, June 22 2018 1:13 AM EDT2018-06-22 05:13:01 GMT
    Saturday, June 23 2018 7:44 PM EDT2018-06-23 23:44:30 GMT
    (Chinatopix via AP). FILE - In this April 8, 2018 file photo, a container is loaded onto a cargo ship at a port in Qingdao in east China's Shandong province. China has accused the United States on Thursday, June 21, 2018, of using pressure tactics and ...(Chinatopix via AP). FILE - In this April 8, 2018 file photo, a container is loaded onto a cargo ship at a port in Qingdao in east China's Shandong province. China has accused the United States on Thursday, June 21, 2018, of using pressure tactics and ...

    Trump got in the first jabs; now the world is punching back as the trade brawl spreads.

    Trump got in the first jabs; now the world is punching back as the trade brawl spreads.

Powered by Frankly