Feb. 1, 2022 - The needs and requirements of the modern courtroom are ever-changing and evolving, especially when it comes to audio-visual technology. AV technologies impact most of the processes and workflow of today's courtrooms, from small family courts to large federal and state systems. AV technology needs to assist with public safety, keeping the docket flowing efficiently, and supporting the fair and due processes built into our judiciary system.
Here are three key AV technologies for court systems that should be top of mind when building new facilities or upgrading existing ones.
Video collaboration had been a growing application of courtroom technology well before the pandemic hit, as the costs of transporting a detainee from prison to court have risen astronomically. Leveraging video collaboration also improves the safety of attendees when a prisoner can participate remotely without physically being in the courtroom. Having access to an expert witness who is in the next county or on the other side of the world improves a person's right to a fair trial — even if they live in a rural area. Video arraignments and remote appearances are becoming more commonplace within the modern courtroom. With this rise in remote participation, it's important to deploy a secure solution that can be accessed by anyone with a device and a browser. The ability to record proceedings and make them easily available is also crucial when choosing a video collaboration solution. Platform-agnostic solutions provide flexibility to connect to other court or prison systems outside your network.
Video content is becoming more prevalent in court proceedings these days. Body and dash camera video, security camera footage, and interrogation recordings are often key pieces of evidence in cases and need to be presented to the entire courtroom securely with no degradation in quality. More court systems are adopting AV over IP solutions to manage and easily present this video content in a secure environment that leverages their existing network. Managing this content on a dedicated IP network is more secure than the traditional AV systems of the past and eliminates any lag (also referred to as "latency") when viewing. In most cases, the network infrastructure is already in place so implementation won't be a big project.
Presenting evidence in a courtroom is vital and needs to be easy for everyone involved. Prosecutors, lawyers, and judges all need to be able to easily connect and present to the displays in the courtroom without worrying about wires, dongles, software, and interoperability issues. Crime scene photos, X-rays, contracts, and other documents need to be presentable in a "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) environment that is wireless, easy to connect, and platform-agnostic. The connection needs to be quick and seamless from any laptop, tablet, or phone without any need for support from technical staff. Every minute wasted trying to connect or spent working through technical issues increases court costs and delays the schedule for the day.
We'll cover more technology solutions that help support court systems in future articles. If this blog has raised your interest in updating some of your courtroom spaces, click here to take a look at the Courtroom Technology Design Guide and engage the Crestron team on how we can help. We have a special support services program for government customers that you can sign up for here. Crestron is also bringing this technology to a city near you on the NEXT Roadshow throughout the year. Register for upcoming events here.
by Marc McCormick, Crestron