"Salt Lake Legal Defender Association Eliminates Travel Costs with VIA3 Secure Web Conferencing"
Salt Lake Legal Defender Association Eliminates Travel Costs with VIA3 Secure Web Conferencing Already in use on Capitol Hill for Telework and Continuity of Work initiatives, VIA3 is gaining popularity among state governments as well for a variety of conferencing, communication, and collaboration needs. Scottsdale, AZ, December 07, 2011 -- The Salt Lake Legal Defender Association uses VIA3 to video conference with their clients housed in the Salt Lake County Jail. The ability to communicate with clients in the jail prior to going to court and from the attorney’s office saves countless man-hours. If they did not have the video conference capability, the attorneys would have to drive to the jail, wait to be checked in, wait for the client to be brought to the interview room, do the interview, and drive back to the office. The process would be a minimum of several hours. With the secure VIA3 software the attorney can stay in the office, talk to the client in a secure conference, and get the information needed before going to court. This is accomplished in a matter of minutes rather than hours and they can both see and talk to the client making the visit far more effective than a telephone conversation. Best of all, they have the peace of mind knowing that all voice, video, and data is protected by VIA3’s 128 bit FIPS 140-2 security. Utah Justice Courts also save with VIA3; $500,000 per year savings: The Justice Court system, which presides over county and municipal affairs, implemented the VIA3 secure communications solution from VIA3 Corp. more than a year ago to perform video arraignments. The software solution provides flexible, highly secure, real-time audio/video capabilities via a standard broadband Internet connection. In Utah, VIA3 dramatically improves the safety of peace officers and citizens, slashes time and budget expenditures, and moves suspects through the criminal justice system more quickly -- all at zero cost to taxpayers. The new system was financed through fees assessed to criminal fines, so criminal offenders pay the costs. The arrangement will save Utah taxpayers approximately $500,000 per year, according to state officials. Large court and correctional systems may transfer hundreds of arrestees and inmates between jail and court facilities each day. But transporting prisoners is expensive, time-consuming and -- above all -- risky to citizens, peace officers and the prisoners themselves. Only a handful of the state's Justice Courts used closed-circuit television to conduct video arraignments because of cost constraints, said John Sandberg, Davis County Justice Court Judge. For close to a decade, he used another Internet-based system, which reduced travel, but lacked functionality and confidentiality. "I had been using a video system to avoid prisoner transport for about 10 years, but it was with a marginal system and I was concerned about security and the image quality," Sandberg said. "VIA3 met our needs because it had the functionality we needed as well as the security, as it is encrypted end-to-end." VIA3 was launched to deliver secure, confidential collaborations in real time over the Internet. Though not specifically designed for video arraignments, Sandberg believed VI A3 was the perfect solution. "The functionality is just excellent. It's truly a two-way conversation," Sandberg said. "You can see each other; you can talk back and forth. This is secure end-to-end, both the video and audio. You can also transmit instant messages and documents, and all of that is encrypted end-to-end." With the older systems, we were using speaker phones. You had to wait for responses and the volume wasn't good," he added. "This is almost like being in the same room. Plus, it's secure." VIA3 allows judges to process defendants more quickly, which they and the jailers prefer. Video arraignment also means that if someone from southern Utah commits a crime in northern Utah, the state doesn't have to pay to transport the prisoner to his or her home jurisdiction. Instead, offenders meet with the judge and their attorneys, if need be, in the jail through VIA3. "Instead of housing people here in jail for an extended stay, we can have people seen on video, and the judge can make a determination on whether he wants to keep them incarcerated or let them go," explained Sgt. Gene Redford, who works for the Washington County Sheriff's Office in Utah. "It costs us so much money per day to keep them housed here. So if we can get them out versus having them stay for 10 days, we're saving money. It's decreased our transportation of inmates. It's decreased the number of people we have to move. It's safer and I think overall, it's an excellent system." VIA3 lowers the cost and risk associated with transporting criminals. It reduces the number of inmates housed in jails. It gets those who committed nonviolent misdemeanor crimes through the system quickly and back to their lives. It stifles the infiltration of contraband since prisoners are kept in one place, and it is all at no charge to taxpayers. "Everybody wins," said Sandberg. "The jails win. The prisoners win. The court wins. And the public wins because it saves money." Sandberg's vision has paid off big for Utah courts, and he's developed a loyal following of judges across the state who are thrilled that VIA3 saves so much time and expense. Washington County Justice Court Judge Douglas Whitlock said that not only does VIA3 save time, labor and money -- for the public and for defendants -- it also lets him be more flexible. "If I'm home and the clerk calls me and tells me I have someone in the jail who needs to be seen, I can do that from home," he said. "Whatever document the court orders that the defendant needs to see, the clerk can take that right off her computer and send it to the jail's electronic file cabinet. The jail can have the defendant sign it with an electronic signature pad, put in back in the file cabinet and we have it instantly. There are a lot of benefits for defendants." Like Judge Sandberg and Sgt. Redford, Whitlock is very happy with VIA3. "The system is designed very well, I'm really pleased with it and the technical support on it," said Whitlock. "VIA3 has been very helpful and it's a good product. Judge Sandberg should be very highly commended for coming up with this." Virginia saves 27,124 hours of travel a year using VIA3: In Virginia, the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) has been using VIA3 to process after-hours intakes since the fall of 2009. VIA3 allows DJJ to complete intakes across the Commonwealth of Virginia with the ability to sign documents back and forth. The After-hours Video Intake program is based in the 9th District Court Service Unit and it currently processes delinquent intakes for 23 out of 35 Court Service Units, which covers 10493 localities weeknights, weekends and holidays. After-hours Video Intake was created as a way to save probation officers from having to go out in the middle of the night to complete an intake after working their normal business hours. During the year 2009, After- hours Video Intake saved probation officers 27,124 roundtrip miles and 1,534.6 hours of processing and travel time to complete an intake. VIA3 provides Court Service Units, which covers multiple jurisdictions, the ability to provide intake coverage to their branch offices when needed. Parole officers are utilizing VIA3 to save travel time when visiting their clients at Juvenile Correctional Centers (JCC) and Halfway Houses. VIA3 also allows family members, who may have transportation difficulties, to continue to have contact with their child, who is committed to a JCC. On September 7, 2010 The Honorable Bill Bolling, Lieutenant Governor, Commonwealth of Virginia, and Jim Duffey, Secretary of Technology, presented the award winning projects and business solutions of the 30 honorees of the 2010 Governor’s Technology Awards at a special ceremony which convened COVITS (www.covits.org). DJJ received Honorable Mention in the category, “IT as Efficiency Driver” for its Web-based After-hours Video Intake program using VIA3. In Summary: Send Your Employees Home so they can get some work done! In 2007, 21 percent of corporations surveyed by the Alexandria-Virginia based Society for Human Resource Management let their workers telecommute full time, up from 19 percent in 2006. Part-time telecommuting grew faster — 33 percent in 2007 from 26 percent in 2006. Sending employees home to work can produce impressive results. Most notably increased job production & satisfaction rose because they can work without disruption. In a year where Continuing Resolutions and deficit spending plague the government VIA3 can offer an economical secure web conferencing alternative. Fulfilling the Telework mandate with one solution: Government agencies or corporations wanting to try VIA3 can visit www.VIA3.com , or email TLockard@Viack.com for more information. Contact: Leslie Carter VIACK Corporation Scottsdale, AZ 85250 866-265-8060 CarterMedia@Hotmail.com http://www.via3.com business solutions, multiple jurisdictions, award winning projects, disruption