Craven County using video technology to save money

NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) – Craven County is using new video technology to limit inmate transports from the detention center on Clarks Road to the courthouse in New Bern.

County commissioners spent $100,000 installing a video feed connecting the two locations which will allow inmates to interact with a judge and talk confidentially to his attorney on a separate phone.

The system is used for arraignments when an inmate is read his charges and pleads guilty or not guilty.

“It takes out that transportation [of inmates] both from a dollar figure and a safety factor,” Craven County manager Jack Veit said.

Sheriff Jerry Monette said the system reduces safety risks for his deputies who transported inmates including the potential for a vehicle accident or an inmate assaulting a deputy.

“It’s a large volume of transports on a daily basis and then those averages add up over a period of time,” Sheriff Monette said.

He said he isn’t aware of any safety incidents in the past five years.

Veit expects the county to save tens of thousands of dollars over the coming years, and he said the system won’t cost much to maintain.

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