iStock_000008575955LargeMost parents know the story; and every parent knows the principle: “Give a mouse a cookie, and he’s sure to want a glass of milk.”  Never satisfied — get one treat and look to leverage it into more.  My kids excelled at it.

Well, I just came across a great example from none other than ImageSoft’s own President, Scott Bade.  A thread from the LinkedIn group Forum on the Advancement of Court Technology discussed the expanding use of and tremendous cost savings from video arraignment.  The verdict appears unanimous that video arraignment offers increased efficiencies, greater security and vastly greater flexibility.  A very nice treat all around.

As I perused the thread, I came across Scott’s posting, which caused me to think how a glass of milk would be just the thing to enhance that cookie.  Scott wrote,

 “I’m curious for you guys that are doing video arraignments now – how do you handle the document packet creation, signing and markup?

 “I’ll be transparent and tell you why I’m asking: We have many court clients that, like you, have had been doing video arraignment for some time — that problem has been mostly solved. Few are actually recording the proceedings for long-term storage.

“What we’ve seen is that going to video introduces some new problems if all the documents remain in paper form. 1) The paper documents need to be in two places at once because both sides often need to sign; 2) the packet is time-consuming to create and manage; and 3) the judge/magistrate is often marking up the documents prior to signing in order to override or amend it, and this info needs to get into the original document.

“We provide an eArraignment solution intended to solve these three problems:

 1) It uses electronic signing for the judge/magistrate and signature pad signing for the defendant;

2) The packet is automatically created (based on case data) using a wizard and a variable set of templates that can be dealt with collectively (data entered once is propagated to all forms and changes are re-applied during or after the hearing); and

3) The signing judge/magistrate is able to apply permanent markups to any documents during the signing process. Everything stays in electronic form at all times and then at the end of the process, a paper copy can be printed at the jail for the defendant.”

Once again, if anyone needed another example of why courts need to move to paper on demand with workflow, this is a great one.  Video arraignment is just the first of many applications that will reduce the need to transport people to a central location.  Already, some courts are using video connections for things like child custody cases where parties are geographically (and jurisdictionally) far apart.

As time goes by, other technologies will offer improvements that, as a side effect, will only be encumbered if they need to accommodate physical files and documents.

Just like milk is good with a lot of things other than cookies, obviously paper on demand with workflow is good to have around for a lot of different reasons.  More and more, almost all other advances and initiatives, technological or not, are at least improved by, and often only possible with, operational paper on demand.

So, drink that milk and enjoy your cookies.

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