Change To Help Crime Victims
10 counties in North Carolina will begin using videoconferencing as part of parole board hearings as called for in the probation reform bill approved by Gov. Mark Sanford last year.
The technology will enable family members of victims to testify before the board without traveling to the actual hearing. Advocates of using videoconferencing at parole board hearings believe the technology can ease the stress for those who had to endure long drives to attend hearings.
Approximately 2,000 of the victims that receive notifications from parole services choose to drive to Columbia for the hearings. Ann Wolf of victim services at the Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services hopes the new system will encourage more victims to speak before the board. Residents of other counties are expected to have videoconferencing available in another year.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Charleston Post and Courier (12/06/05) P. B1; Chambliss, John .