Criminal Justice Reform: Texting Messages to Defendants

The Missouri Public Defender's office will launch a pilot project that sends text messages to defendants reminding them of their court dates. The $37,000 project, initially focusing on St. Louis, Columbia, Jefferson City, Troy, and Kennett, is designed to ensure defendants do not miss court dates and other legal appointments where their absence might lead to a failure to appear charge and jail time. The program could also help reduce the $43 million the state spends on subsidizing local jails or holding Missourians who are serving pre-trial detention sentences and who have not yet been convicted of a crime. If the program shows a positive result, the hope is to bring the technology to all 114 counties in the state.

August 19, 2019 - 12:24pm

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