New technology is making court appearances for jail inmates easier, quicker and cheaper in Cape Girardeau County. Now, computers and cameras in the courtroom are helping crackdown on crime. Even though the defendant and defense attorney aren't in the courthouse, court IS in session.
In Cape County, inmates don't even have to leave the jail to appear before a judge. For two weeks now, Judge Gary Kamp has been presiding over the video arraignments and trial settings which usually only take about five minutes each. The computer video system links him directly to the jail. He can see and hear the defendants and their attorneys and they can see and hear him.
The jail is only about a hundred yards from the courthouse, and up until last week, inmates had to handcuffed and shackled and escorted to the courthouse by two jailers for their arraignments. Sheriff John Jordan says anytime you take the inmates out of the jail, you create a risk for an escape. And taking the inmates out of the jail's guarded environment, also creates more work for jailers.