Defendants in criminal arraignments will appear in a Torrance courtroom via closed-circuit television Monday on the first day of a test program designed to improve safety and expedite cases at the South Bay Municipal Court.
Cameras and television sets will connect Commissioner Andrew C. Kauffman's court on the first floor with the prisoners' lockup on the second floor of the Maple Avenue courthouse.
A camera and microphone will permit prisoners in the lockup to communicate with court personnel, who will watch on two television sets. Prisoners in the lockup will have a monitor on which to follow the court proceedings.
Previously, prisoners visiting Kauffman's court had to be escorted from the lockup, down a staircase and through an unsecured parking lot behind the courthouse. "It was a security problem in transporting prisoners to and from the courtroom," said court administrator Chris Crawford.