Court ex­pands SMS trial to help boost at­ten­dance

The Queensland Times - - NEWS -

ADULT de­fen­dants on bail around Queens­land will now re­ceive an SMS re­minder 24 hours be­fore their next court ap­pear­ance as part of a re­gional pi­lot project that has been ex­panded statewide.

At­tor­ney-Gen­eral Yvette D’Ath said the text ap­point­ment re­minder, sim­i­lar to those is­sued by many busi­nesses, was de­signed to save court time and costs by en­cour­ag­ing a greater at­ten­dance rate at court.

“It is a sig­nif­i­cant in­con­ve­nience for the courts and all the par­ties in­volved in a mat­ter when a de­fen­dant fails to at­tend court,” she said.

“The pi­lot was ini­ti­ated to try to re­duce the num­ber of fail to ap­pear war­rants, which may be is­sued im­me­di­ately upon a de­fen­dant not turn­ing up to court.

“The pi­lot pro­gram started in the Mackay Mag­is­trates Court in June 2016 and was eval­u­ated by the Univer­sity of Queens­land.

“The re­sults of the pi­lot, along­side promis­ing find­ings from other Aus­tralian and in­ter­na­tional ju­ris­dic­tions where SMS re­minders have been used, were pos­i­tive enough to sug­gest that the trial be ex­panded statewide.”

Ev­i­dence from the pi­lot eval­u­a­tion sug­gested court at­ten­dance rates var­ied de­pend­ing on the type of mes­sage sent. UQ rec­om­mended that a range of mes­sages should be tested to de­ter­mine the op­ti­mal SMS mes­sage for im­prov­ing court at­ten­dance rates.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.