Video arraignments to begin for Boone County Jail inmates

Tuesday, July 3, 2012 | 4:31 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Video arraignments for some Boone County Jail inmates will begin soon in Columbia Municipal Court.

The Municipal Court and the Boone County Jail have reached an agreement that will allow inmates to have arraignments at the jail. That will keep officers on the street and save time and money, Municipal Court Clerk Shara Meyer said.

Video arraignments will spare officers from having to transport inmates to and from the jail and the court to have charges read. Transports usually take about an hour, Meyer said, because the officers also have to wait at the Howard Municipal Building while the arraignments take place.   

The arraignments will be given at the jail for inmates with outstanding warrants or mandatory bonds that they cannot pay.

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department will own and maintain the video equipment, which already has been installed. City Manager Mike Matthes said in a report to the council that the city covered the cost of installation.

Court clerks, judges and prosecutors will be trained on how to use the equipment, perhaps within the next week, Meyer said.

Money for the equipment came from Proposition L, a one-eighth cent sales tax for law enforcement that voters passed in 2002. The total cost for the system, including labor, is around $15,000, Sgt. Mike Krohn of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department said.

Talk about giving video arraignments in the Municipal Court began around the beginning of the year. The court is “ready to get it going and implemented,” Meyer said. 

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

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