Text Message Reminders for Probationers
Persons on probation who fail to report for appointments with probation officers are deprived of program benefits, and are at increased risk of incarceration. Several agencies 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. Participants are randomly assigned to receive text updates and appointment times from their probation officer, or to receive no such text messages (supervision as usual). Measured outcomes include completed appointments with probation officers, class attendance, and employment.