Can Text Message Reminders Help Reduce Technical Violations?

Can Text Message Reminders Help Reduce Technical Violations?

Only about half of individuals who are on probation successfully complete their terms, and most unsuccessful probation completions are due to technical violations rather than committing new crimes. In 2020, there were 3.9 million people in the U.S. on probation or parole. This number accounted for 70% of the total correctional population that year. Failing to meet with supervisors is one of the most common technical violations. Individuals are missing their meetings with officers due to work, education, or failure to find transportation. Text message reminders for parole and probation meetings are an easy and inexpensive way to help people stay on track and reduce recidivism.

A November 2022 report, “Addressing Mass Supervision in the United States: How Text Message Reminders Can Help Reduce Technical Violations of Community Supervision”, suggests that sending text message reminders for scheduled appointments could reduce canceled and missed parole and probation appointments by as much as 21% and 29%, respectively.

The report includes results from a 2018 experiment conducted by the Arkansas Department of Corrections, comparing four groups including a control group, an early text group (two days before), a late text group (one day before), and a group that received both the early and late text. Highlights of the experiment include:

  • Individuals who received a late text or received two texts were more likely to successfully attend meetings than individuals who did not receive any text message reminders.
  • Individuals who received late texts were significantly less likely to cancel their appointments.
  • The optimal time to send text message reminders is one day prior to the scheduled appointment.
  • During the six-month period following the experiment, all individuals received text messages one day before their appointments, resulting in 30% fewer missed appointments.

Electronic Monitoring Solutions for Community Supervision

Increase positive outcomes by placing the tools individuals need to be successful and accountable in the palm of their hands. BI Incorporated is proud to be at the forefront of adjusting the way electronic monitoring services are provided. Mobile communication is immediate, convenient, and timesaving for both officers and clients. BI SmartLINK® simplifies communication between clients and officers through easy-to-use two-way communication technology such as messaging and video conference, calendar and resource access, and push notifications. Officers can schedule notifications to remind them about upcoming appointments or court appearances. Plus, virtual check-ins can help eliminate the challenge of finding a ride for an office visit. Learn more

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