Some court systems are texting people to get them to show up. Could it work here?

Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page Matt Rocheleau Globe Staff  February 18, 2018 For all the problems that plague our court systems, missed court dates may be one of the most vexing. Nationally, about two in 10 people facing a felony charge fail to show up for their court date annually. For lower-level offenses, the rates tend to be even higher. As a result, individuals who fail to appear, even for minor offenses, can face more serious charges. That tardiness also wreaks havoc on the docket, and can eventually lead to backlogs. Advertisement But a growing number of court systems around the country have piloted a unique program to cope with the problem using a basic tool: the cellphone. The premise is simple. Send a text message to anyone due in court — including defendants, jurors, and probationers — reminding them about their upcoming appearance. Get Fast Forward in your inbox: Forget yesterday’s news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email. Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here The texting concept, which experts say is both low-cost and fairly easy to implement, has proven effective at getting more people to show up to court in places like New York, New Jersey, Oregon, California, and Minnesota, thereby helping to avoid what can be serious repercussions for individuals and the justice system as a whole. And that’s led some to wonder if it could… [Read full story]

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