Text Message Reminders for Probationers
Probationers who fail to report for appointments with probation officers are deprived of program benefits, and are at increased risk of incarceration. Several agencies around the country are testing text-message reminders as a means to increase appointment attendance rates. Quick and inexpensive, text messaging is a convenient way to communicate. Text-message reminders have been formally evaluated in areas besides criminal justice, mostly within healthcare, and have shown large increases in appointment attendance and medication adherence.
These trials test the effectiveness of text messages in improving probationer outcomes. A probation officer will text updates and appointment times to probationers in the intervention group, comparing outcomes with a control group that does not receive text messages. Measured outcomes include completed appointments with probation officers, class attendance, and employment.