By CELESTE BOTT
Capital News Service
LANSING – Macomb County is partnering with the state to expand its video arraignment technology to other jurisdictions, reducing the need to transport criminals from jails to courtrooms.
Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said that video arraignment of defendants who are being held outside county borders is safer and cost-effective. “Using interactive video conference technology will help us save money, operate more efficiently and improve security at the court,” Wickersham said. An arraignment is a formal reading of the charges to a defendant who is being prosecuted. A two-way video system will be used to conduct such judicial proceedings for suspects held at local or county jails and statewide prison facilities. The technology is similar to popular video conferencing programs such as Skype or FaceTime.