Appearance Rates

Technical Assistance Opportunity

The National Center for State Courts is offering technical assistance to help improve court appearance rates and reduce harmful responses to nonappearance. With generous support from the Pew Charitable Trusts, NCSC will select up to six jurisdictions to participate in this project. Participating jurisdictions will work closely with NCSC staff and experts for one year to identify and reduce barriers to court appearance, and provide more supportive structures to address a missed appearance. This technical assistance is provided at no cost to participating courts, and includes funding for stakeholders from the court to join us for a summit in spring 2023. Applications are due by September 30, 2022.

Learn more here, preview the questions on the online application here, and then:

Apply online here

Webinars and Tiny Chats

NCSC hosts webinars with information on how courts can improve appearance rates by reducing barriers to appearance, and how courts can limit the harmful consequences of nonappearance.

Improving Court Appearance Rates webinar series
Next Webinar: September 29, 2022, 4:00pm ET: Low-Cost Ways to Increase Court Appearances

In this session, NCSC will present examples from jurisdictions that implemented low-cost interventions to increase court appearance rates, such as revising court forms to draw more attention to what is required of the defendant, and launching text message reminder systems to notify defendants of upcoming court dates.
Dates:
  • October 13, 2022, 4:00pm ET: Thinking About Showing Up: Brainstorming Ways to Eliminate Barriers to Appearance

Register today.


Past webinars:

NCSC Resources

NCSC prepared these resources to help courts administer remote hearings in ways that preserve critical rights and ensure courts run efficiently.
Video Remote Interpretation Solutions and Resources
Includes a list of resources for Zoom and Cisco Webex interpretation services, and a link to national interpreter database.
Download PDF File (393.8 KB)
Remote and Virtual Hearings Technology Considerations
This resource introduces the framework for courtroom technology as well as case studies of courts that support both remote and hybrid hearings.
Download PDF File (402.7 KB)
Remote Hearings and Access to Justice
This resource guides courts with advice for remote hearings and access to justice including scheduling, advance notice, plain language, and more.
Download PDF File (826.6 KB)
National scan of remote-first and remote-friendly court rules
This resource collects rule changes to establish a remote-first or remote-friendly approach that provides access and protects the rights of litigants as an information hub for courts that are considering implementing new rules.
Download PDF File (292.0 KB)
Guiding principles for post-pandemic court technology
This resource can help to guide courts with adopting principles and best practices as they continue to embrace technology.
Download PDF File (218.2 KB)
Digital Divide Considerations
This document offers some initial ideas of ways courts can provide solutions to the digital divide, either on their own or in partnership with other civic, government or philanthropic partners.
Download PDF File (1.0 MB)

NCSC's Virtual Remote Interpretation resource center.

Other Resources

These resources highlight innovations courts around the country have implemented to make court more accessible and best practices for ensuring people appear in court.

Court Date Notifications: A Summary of the Research and Best Practices for Building Effective Reminder Systems (NYC Criminal Justice Agency, 2021)

Findings and Policy Solutions from New Hanover, Orange, and Robeson Counties (North Carolina Court Appearance Project, 2022)

Using Behavioral Science to Improve Criminal Justice Outcomes: Preventing Failures to Appear in Court (ideas42 & Crime Lab), and Behavioral Nudges Reduce Failure to Appear for Court

Using Reminders to Reduce Failure to Appear in Court (Minnesota Judicial Branch, 2019)

Removing barriers to pretrial appearances (Urban Institute, 2020)

Tips for good texts (Stanford Legal Design Lab)

Research on the Effectiveness of Pretrial Support and Supervision Services: A Guide for Pretrial Services Programs (UNC School of Government Criminal Justice Innovation Lab, 2021)

A Framework for Pretrial Justice: Essential Elements of an Effective Pretrial System and Agency (National Institute of Corrections)

Creating an Effective Pretrial Program (Community Resources for Justice – Crime & Justice Institute)

Pretrial Justice: How to Maximize Public Safety, Court Appearance, and Release (videos) (National Institute of Corrections)

Measuring What Matters: Outcome and Performance Measures for the Pretrial Services Field (National Institute of Corrections)

Procedural Justice Bench Card (American Judges’ Ass’n, CCI, NCSC, & Nat’l Judicial College)

The Hidden Costs of Pretrial Detention Revisited (2022) and The Hidden Costs of Pretrial Detention (Arnold Ventures, 2013)

Integrating criminal justice and behavioral health data (CSG Justice Center)

Websites

Coronavirus and the Courts (CCJ/COSCA Rapid Response Team Pandemic Response)

National Partnership for Pretrial Justice

Racial Justice (NCSC's work on racial justice initiatives)

Learn more and connect!

NCSC is working, along with the Pew Public Safety Performance Project, to develop more content and resources on appearance rates. We will update this information regularly, so check back often. For more information on NCSC's work to improve appearance rates and reduce the harmful consequences of a missed appearance, contact Mike Tartaglia.