Costly video conferencing available for El Paso inmates not being used often

Video conferencing equipment at El Paso County Court House. (CBS4)

Millions of county dollars are going towards technology that allows inmates to video conference into hearings, but a county commissioner says that money isn’t being used to its full potential.

Video conferencing allows inmates to review their court cases without being transferred over to the courthouse from the annex in far east El Paso.

County Commissioner Vince Perez said the system isn’t being used enough by judges.

If they did, Perez said it would save the county money that is being used to bus the inmates to the courthouse.

Judge William Moody says he has never used video conferencing in his courtroom but disagrees with Perez.

“Maybe it could make it easier and cheaper, but when you have to weigh the cost of people's freedom versus the expenses, sometimes you're going to have to go and weigh higher on the average when someone's freedom is imposed. That's a pretty important thing,” Moody said.

We talked to the council of judges to find out how the system can be used and why more money is needed for an upgrade.

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