National Guide to Court Appearances

Missed court appearances are costly for both court systems and court users. Court users and their families may be assessed fines, arrested or serve jail time, while the system pays to relocate the user and reschedule the hearing. At the same time, hardships, especially those related to poverty and mental and behavioral health, can create significant barriers to appearing. Given these barriers, courts should work to actively support appearance, rather than relying on warrants, jail and fines. This report is designed to help courts and system stakeholders discover, adapt, and implement tested and promising practices to achieve greater equity and efficiency in their pretrial systems. The authors explore the science of what makes court appearance challenging and outline practices to support court appearance. 

Read the full report here.

Shannon McAuliffe, Samantha Hammer, Alissa Fishbane, and Andrea Wilk