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Technology Innovations Help US Courts To Cut Budget

December 11th, 2010 Posted in News

Even though most court only operate during strict business hours, low cash flow levels have forced the Kandiyohi County court system to turn to technology used in off hours to keep their docket from overflowing. Traffic courts and stenographers in Kandiyohi County, South Carolina, are using technology to help both officials and citizens to fulfill their needs in an unorthodox way. For the most part, traffic court takes place over the Internet or phone there. If a driver is cited for unsafe driving practices, instead of using in-house resources, the courts in Kandiyhoi county are using third party vendors to process payments. Even jury pre-selection is done online, as citizens are prompted to use a government sponsored website to answer questions. The fact of the matter is, the economy tanked and court systems around the US simply don’t have the resources to keep full-time employees on the books anymore.

As courtrooms struggle to keep things running smoothly, the penal system also faces overcrowding. As a result, more criminals are receiving lenient sentences or are able to avoid incarceration altogether. Of course, those convicted of serious crimes in the US are also subject to steep fines, which is another measure that may help to pump more resources into the failing criminal justice system instead of exhausting them. More courts around the nation are expected to follow this trend of using technology in the place of judges, but it is not without its flaws. Sometimes, glitches can cause those who owe fines to slip into the cracks, but statics show that human error also leads to these sort of situations.

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