DENVER, March 30, 2004 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q) today announced a contract to provide the state of New Mexico, Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), with video and network services. The new services are part of the state?s initiative to use video arraignment and conferencing between courts and jails in New Mexico.
The multi-year contract for Qwest video and network services contributes to a video system that will benefit 32 magistrate courts and 25 jails in New Mexico by June 2004. Judges will use the new services to conduct cross-county arraignments and enhance inter-judicial communications throughout most of the state.
By July 2004, the video equipment will be used to link multiple courts and detention center facilities in 25 counties, including: Chavez, Cibola, Colfax, Curry, Doña Ana, Eddy, Grant, Guadalupe, Harding, Lea, Luna, Lincoln, Los Alamos, McKinley, Rio Arriba, Roosevelt, Sandoval, Santa Fe, San Juan, San Miguel, Sierra, Socorro, Taos, Torrance and Valencia.
?Qwest is pleased to work with the New Mexico AOC to provide video and network services that will enhance the state?s judicial system,? said John Badal, Qwest state president for New Mexico. ?With video services, the courts save costs in personnel, time, and transportation ? all of which can result in savings to the taxpayers of New Mexico.?
The New Mexico video arraignment project is one of the largest such deployments in state court systems in the United States. By using video conferencing equipment for arraignments and conferencing, the state is expected to increase the safety and security for court staff and the public during the arraignment process, decrease transportation costs of prisoners and court personnel, and increase overall communication of the judicial staff.
?Video conferencing is a significant improvement for the magistrate court system,? said Karen S. Janes, director of New Mexico?s Magistrate Court Division. ?Through Qwest?s existing network in New Mexico, the state can link many of its magistrate courts and detention centers, creating more efficient court processes and increasing cost savings to the state, without sacrificing the quality of justice for persons accused of crimes.?
The AOC and a task force of representatives from the Public Defender?s and District Attorney?s Offices, and Magistrate Court and Metropolitan Court have collaborated to produce a video that is shown to defendants prior to the arraignment proceeding. The video describes the defendant?s constitutional rights and explains the video arraignment process. The same task force has established Court and Jail Standards for video arraignments statewide.
Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is a leading provider of voice, video and data services to more than 25 million customers. The company?s 47,000 employees are committed to the ?Spirit of Service? and providing world-class services that exceed customers? expectations for quality, value and reliability. For more information, please visit the Qwest Web site at www.qwest.com.
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