Interpreters are extremely important in the judicial system, and they are increasingly in high demand. Costs for interpreter services continue to rise in courtrooms across the country, but technology is helping cut those costs while improving quality of life for the interpreters themselves.
Orange County is currently using a Cisco Connected Justice solution for Florida’s first high-tech interpreter system. The system instantly connects interpreters to 67 courtrooms through high definition, live, interactive video. From their desks, interpreters have the ability to control camera angles and audio levels in the courtroom, speak directly to any of the parties participating in a hearing and can appear in real-time on a monitor in the courtroom.
The project was headed by Chief Judge Belvin Perry as a means of decreasing costs and increasing court efficiency, and is already showing positive results. Since the amount of travel required for the interpreters was significant, they would often arrive late to court and therefore delay court proceedings as a result. In the event they were unable to make it to court at all, the county had to hire expensive contract interpreters.
Tailor-made for the needs of the Orange County court system, the Cisco’s Connected Justice solution has greatly reduced court costs; so much so that the system will be tested in the 15th Circuit which includes Palm Beach County soon.
Cisco has recognized the changing needs of judicial, law enforcement and correctional agencies struggling to deal with decreased budgets, higher crime rates and increased case loads. As more courts embrace collaboration technologies, such as telepresence, we expect to see more innovative uses and benefits realized that we never would have imagined.
Is your local government utilizing technology to better serve citizens or cut costs?