County to text court-date reminders to defendants

Starting in early December, Sebastian County will send text reminders to defendants, notifying them of their court dates. 

The project is in response to the high number of people who fail to show up for court. In 2021, 948 people received failures to appear from circuit court; 588 people received failures to appear from Greenwood District Court. 

“The issue is people will forget that they have a court case or a date, and by getting a text message instead of some written letter that gets, you know, lost amongst the junk mail, they’ll be reminded ‘oh crap I had court today or hey oh no tomorrow or in a week I better ask off for work to get in there,'” said Kevin Smith, the director of technology services for the county. 

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