(AP) -- Courts in New York City and around the country are increasingly using video conference software to hold minor hearings.
The technology is boosting efficiency and also cutting costs.
The savings for some are staggering. According to a recent national survey, $30 million has been saved in Pennsylvania so far, $600,000 in Georgia, and $50,000 per year in transportation costs in Ohio.
Advocates say the virtual hearing is easier on defendants, who don't have to spend hours going back-and-forth from prison and waiting for their appearance.
Judges say their cases are moving faster. And civil rights groups say the practice raises no red flags.
Explore further: Energy costs have Canadians cutting back