USAToday this morning noted that "courts across the country are embracing videoconferencing as a way for defendants to appear before a judge without leaving prison or jail, according to a recent survey by the National Center for State Courts, which revealed that 100 of the 162 responding reported that they were already using videoconferencing for some criminal matters."
NCSC overviews court use of video-conferencing as beginning in 1972, "when an Illinois court used a videophone to conduct a bail hearing, courts have been lured by the promise of cost savings and increased security offered by videoconferencing technologies. In 1974 a Philadelphia court installed a closed-circuit television system for preliminary arraignments, and in 1983 Dade County, Florida, implemented videoconferencing for misdemeanor hearings. The videotape made during the hearing was the official court record. In the mid-nineties when the alleged Unabomber’s arraignment on first-degree murder and related charges was scheduled in a New Jersey federal court, Theodore J. Kaczynski (a.k.a., the Unabomber) was being held in Sacramento, California. Estimated costs of transporting the defendant were $30,000. Using teleconferencing, the court conducted the arraignment at a cost of about $45."
The Hamilton County Law Library orchestrates video-conferences for Cincinnati and Hamilton County courts, and makes it available to local participating attorneys.