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Court Reminders — Best Practices To Reduce Failures To Appear

With an overwhelming number of defendants failing to show up in court, the need for effective court reminders has never been more critical. How can automated court reminders play a role?

The Disturbing Data on No-Shows

Every year, an alarming number of defendants fail to appear in court. These no-shows burden the criminal justice system, leading to additional warrants, a backlog of cases, and increased costs for the courts.

Key Statistics:

  • Approximately 30% of defendants fail to appear in court each year.
  • The majority of courts do not have a reminder mechanism, leading to unnecessary confusion and accidental absences.
  • As cash bail systems get dismantled, the concern for increased failures to appear grows exponentially.

The Glaring Gap: Lack of Court Reminders

Despite the significant role they play in ensuring defendants appear in court, most courts are still without an effective mechanism to remind individuals of their court dates. This lack of communication leads to:

  • Unnecessary Warrants: Courts issue new warrants for individuals who miss their court dates, adding to the already existing caseload.
  • Inflated Costs: No-shows inflate the operational costs for the courts.
  • Personal Consequences for Defendants: A failure to appear can lead to escalated legal issues and even imprisonment for the defendant.

Want to see how it works? Schedule a demo.


The Shift from Cash Bail and its Implications

The move to phase out cash bail is commendable but also raises concerns. With its elimination, courts worry that without the monetary incentive to return, failures to appear will rise. This concern necessitates an efficient system to ensure defendants are reminded and are clear about their court dates.

Read more about Missouri's transition from cash bail to electronic supervision.

The Modern Solution: Automated Court Reminder Software

Enter solutions like RePath, pioneering the use of technology to tackle this challenge head-on.

  • Automated Reminders: With court reminder software, reminders are sent out automatically, reducing the chances of a missed court date.
  • Targeted Communication: Reminders can be tailored to individual preferences, ensuring that the defendant receives and acknowledges them.
  • Convenience: Automated systems don't require manual input for each reminder, saving time and resources for the courts.
  • Security: Case officers can text defendants directly without the security and privacy concerns of using their own personal phones.

Proven Results with RePath

Several counties have already seen the benefits of integrating RePath into their systems:

  • A staggering 50% drop in failures to appear has been reported by multiple counties using RePath.
  • Courts have observed a significant reduction in the administrative burden, thanks to the efficient handling of reminders.
  • The technology also fosters a sense of responsibility and clarity among defendants, ensuring they are informed and accountable.

Conclusion: Embracing Technology for a More Efficient Court System

The traditional methods of managing court dates are no longer sufficient. With the challenges posed by the phasing out of cash bail systems and the existing high rates of failures to appear, courts need a comprehensive, tech-driven solution.

RePath's court reminder software offers a promising, proven solution, as reflected by its successes in multiple counties. By embracing such innovations, courts can ensure a more efficient, streamlined, and just system for all involved.

Ready to revolutionize your court system? Schedule a demo today to see firsthand how courts across the United States are leveraging RePath to reduce failures to appear and enhance overall efficiency.

Help people navigate the criminal justice system

The RePath App electronically assists individuals through the criminal justice process. Agencies can choose from multiple supervision levels dependent on their specific needs.