Reducing courts' failure-to-appear rate by written reminders

Brian H Bornstein, Alan J. Tomkins, Elizabeth M. Neeley, Mitchel N. Herian, Joseph A. Hamm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article examines the effectiveness of using different kinds of written reminders to reduce misdemeanor defendants' failure-to-appear (FTA) rates. A subset of defendants was surveyed after their scheduled court date to assess their perceptions of procedural justice and trust and confidence in the courts. Reminders reduced FTA overall, and more substantive reminders (e.g., with information on the negative consequences of FTA) were more effective than a simple reminder. FTA varied depending on several offense and offender characteristics, such as geographic location (urban vs. rural), type of offense, and number of offenses. The reminders were somewhat more effective for Whites and Hispanics than for Blacks. Defendants with higher institutional confidence and those who felt they had been treated more fairly by the criminal justice system were more likely to appear, though the effectiveness of the reminder was greatest among misdemeanants with low levels of trust in the courts. The implications for public policy and pretrial services are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-80
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology, Public Policy, and Law
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 11 2013

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Geographic Locations
Criminal Law
Social Justice
offense
Public Policy
Hispanic Americans
confidence
justice
misdemeanor
offender
public policy
hydroquinone

Keywords

  • Criminal justice
  • Field experiment
  • Procedural justice
  • Public trust and confidence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

Cite this

Reducing courts' failure-to-appear rate by written reminders. / Bornstein, Brian H; Tomkins, Alan J.; Neeley, Elizabeth M.; Herian, Mitchel N.; Hamm, Joseph A.

In: Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, Vol. 19, No. 1, 11.09.2013, p. 70-80.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bornstein, Brian H ; Tomkins, Alan J. ; Neeley, Elizabeth M. ; Herian, Mitchel N. ; Hamm, Joseph A. / Reducing courts' failure-to-appear rate by written reminders. In: Psychology, Public Policy, and Law. 2013 ; Vol. 19, No. 1. pp. 70-80.
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