University of Pretrial Library

Using Behavioral Science to Improve Criminal Justice Outcomes: Preventing Failures to Appear in Court - Cooke et al 2018 

02-12-2018 16:08

In 2014, nearly 41% of the approximately 320,000 cases from tickets issued to people for low-level offenses in New York City (NYC) had recipients who did not appear in court or resolve their summons by mail. This represents approximately 130,000 missed court dates for these offenses. Regardless of the offense severity (summonses are issued for offenses ranging from things like littering on the street or sidewalk to drinking in public), failure to appear in court automatically results in the issuance of an arrest warrant. Because warrants are costly and burdensome for both the criminal justice system and recipients, the NYC Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice—in partnership with the New York City Police Department and New York State Unified Court System Office of Court Administration—asked ideas42 and the University of Chicago Crime Lab to design and implement inexpensive, scalable solutions to reduce the failure to appear (FTA) rate. 


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