Jury service in Harris County just got a little more pleasant. The following is a press release from District Clerk Loren Jackson:
Today’s universal tech boom has given way to ‘digital dependence.’ Harris County citizens are no different when it comes to relying on digital connection. In a move bridging a major digital divide and potentially improving attendance to jury service, Harris County District Clerk (HCDC) Loren Jackson announced public wireless Internet in the Harris County Jury Assembly Room. Starting today, citizens summoned to jury service can bring laptops, personal digital assistants (PDA) or other wireless-ready devices to access filtered, wireless Internet while waiting on the jury selection process.
“Jury Service is crucial to the judicial system of Harris County,” Jackson said. “We are doing our part to make it more convenient for our citizens to show up when they’re summoned. Providing them with free WIFI enables them to stay connected to their family and their work. Jury service should be thought of as ‘a great form of service,’ not just an obligation or duty. Jury service is a way to serve your community and your peers.”
In Harris County, approximately 3000 people report for jury service each week, many of whom count on online access to stay productive and connected. While content filtering will be utilized, prospective jurors will be able to access most media and general content Web sites, as well as use general search engines, instant messaging and e-mail. Prospective jurors should ensure their digital devices are fully charged prior to reporting for jury service, as there are a limited number of power outlets available for use within the Jury Assembly Room.
The office of the Harris County District Clerk made providing wireless Internet access to prospective jurors one of its top priorities and worked closely with AT&T for several months to secure the installation servicing most of the first floor surrounding the Jury Assembly Room.
The installation of wireless Internet in the Jury Assembly Room is just part of a greater initiative launched by the District Clerk’s Office utilizing technology to provide improved, efficient services and greater convenience to the public.
Very cool. I’d first heard about this from Jackson a few weeks back, and I’m glad to see that it’s now in production. The District Clerk website, which says that a new version of itself is in the works, doesn’t have any further info on this, but I’m sure you can get any questions you might have answered by contacting them directly.