Reminders for Court-Appointed Youth

Among the juvenile offender population, technical violations of release from juvenile justice facilities and failures to appear for court-mandated appointments account for a substantial share of juvenile detainment and incarceration. According to Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2012 Doors to Detention report on Baltimore, two-thirds of youth in pretrial detainment were already under Department of Juvenile Services supervision; the majority of juveniles were re-arrested not because of a new crime they had committed, but rather because of a technical violation of their release, such as missing an appointment with caseworkers.


Supporting juveniles to make their court-mandated appointments and avoid other technical violations of their supervision could substantially reduce juvenile incarceration in jurisdictions across the country.


We are developing a project that will implement and rigorously evaluate a technology-based intervention to help court-supervised youth attend their court-mandated appointments. We will send automated and personalized text messages to youth to provide them with simplified, highly-personalized information and reminders about the terms of their community release, mandatory dates when they have to appear in court, and caseworker meetings they are required to attend.


We anticipate that these text-based reminders will decrease failures to appear (FTA) and technical violations of community release, which should decrease the number of youth in detention and out-of-home commitment facilities. We will implement this intervention as an RCT to rigorously measure impacts on recidivism and time incarcerated for court-supervised youth.


To get involved, contact us at