One of the core benefits of video conferencing has always been the ability to better connect parties who are far away from one another, and the globalized economy has certainly catalyzed more growth in the market for this reason. No longer are households and consumers the only ones in need of affordable and engaging tools to connect with their friends and family members overseas or in other regions of the nation.
Rather, businesses have started to outpace consumers in their spending on video conferencing and other unified communications solutions, while public sector entities are likewise beginning to place more focus on these areas. With the world still fighting back from one of the worst economic recessions in the past few decades, methods of reducing expenditures while driving productivity are in high demand across the board.
South Africa's success
Much like the United States, the Department of Correctional Services in South Africa is implementing a video conferencing to balance compliance with federal regulations pertaining to inmate and victim rights and staying within budget. All Africa reported that Zach Modise, the acting national commissioner of the department, has stated that the system will be specifically used to get victims involved in parole hearings.
"It is imperative that victims be prepared and be involved when the perpetrators are being considered for placement on parole, in line with the provision of the Correctional Services Act and the Criminal Procedure Act," Modise told All Africa. "We call on victims to participate in the processes so that they are not surprised when they see the perpetrators on the streets. We can't talk about perpetrators without talking about the victims. Victims meeting with the perpetrators is very critical and an integral part of restorative justice, and of making corrections a real societal responsibility."
The source went on to explain that the system is expected to be up and running in the next couple of months.
Implications at home
The United States has similar criminal procedure regulations involving the rights of victims to participate in parole programs, and many states have already started to use video conferencing tools for these purposes and others across the nation.
Although this might be an extreme example of the applications of video conferencing, business leaders should understand that thinking outside of the box with these investments will often yield the most positive experiences.