The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

March 7, 2013

Northumberland County teleconference project completed under budget

By Francis Scarcella

— SUNBURY — A teleconference project spearheaded by Commissioner Steve Bridy and President Judge Robert Sacavage that links Northumberland County’s prison with its courthouse a block away came in $5,000 under budget and 60 days before its deadline.

An inmate can now appear before a judge from a basement area of the lockup that resembles a mini-courtoom. He can sit at a table, face a camera and see Northumberland County courtrooms on a television screen through Skype.

Sacavage favored the prison courtroom because it will reduce costs to municipal police departments who now must transport prisoners after commissioners decided to stop paying constables for inmate escorts.

“(We) look forward to increasing efficiencies and saving tax dollars through the use of technology on many more projects in the future,” Bridy said.

The mini-courtroom was completed for less than $7,000 and in under 30 days, Bridy said.