A video link which could remove the need for prisoners to be taken to court for routine hearings is being trialled at a Scottish court.
Prisoners in Barlinnie will use the link
The six-month pilot scheme in Glasgow will initially be used for hearings which take place in private.
However, it is hoped that the £215,000 initiative could be extended to other stages in the judicial process.
The video link has been installed between Barlinnie Prison and Glasgow Sheriff Court.
Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson admitted that the link, which went live on Monday, would cut costs.
But she said the main motivation was to improve the efficiency of Scotland's courts.
The scheme will target people who are remanded in custody after their first appearance in court on petition.
Prisoners usually appear in court again within eight days to be fully committed.
That second appearance requires the prisoner to be taken from jail to the court under police escort.
Committal hearings can last for only a few minutes at a time.
The accused will not have to travel to Glasgow Sheriff Court
However, prisoners routinely leave prison in the early morning, miss visits and exercise periods and are held in unfurnished cells at the court building.
That is unpopular with the accused - and police say they would be better employed on frontline duties.
The new link will mean up to six prisoners a day can be dealt with in their absence.
The cameras in the jail and the court will enable them to see everything and take part.
Deputy Justice Minister Hugh Henry said: "We are committed to providing an efficient and effective justice system - with more police on the frontline, effective courts and effective sentencing.
"This system will avoid the need for prisoners to be escorted to court and back again for hearings that can last for as little as two minutes and will allow resources to be targeted to where we need them most.
"The use of this link is part of a drive to make use of technology to modernise the courts and provide a smarter, quicker criminal justice system."