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Video Conferencing Pilot

SECTION 196.   The court administrator may execute a memorandum of understanding with an interested sheriff's office to initiate or expand the use of video conferencing technology to conduct certain court proceedings for the purposes of improving courtroom efficiency and decreasing inmate transportation costs. The terms of any such agreement shall specify the types of court appearances that may be conducted by video.

The court administrator and the Massachusetts Sheriff's Association shall, not later than January 15, 2013, file a report with the house and senate committees on ways and means and the joint committee on the judiciary detailing the number and locations of facilities and courthouses where video conferencing technology is being utilized, the sheriffs' departments participating in the program, the types of appearances being conducted through the use of the technology, the approximate number of inmate transportation trips to and from court that have been eliminated through the use of the technology, the savings associated with the elimination of such inmate transportation and the feasibility of or plans to expand the use of the technology into either additional facilities and courthouses or to additional types of appearances.