Howard County sending text messages to remind people of court dates

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KOKOMO, Ind. — A central Indiana county has started sending text messages to criminal defendants to remind them about their upcoming court hearings.

The Kokomo Tribune reports that Howard County sends defendants a text message five days before their next court hearing, and a reminder text one day before that hearing.

Authorities hope the texting service that began in February can hold down the county jail’s population and reduce the resources law enforcement must devote to tracking down people who miss court appearances.

Howard County Superior Court Judge William Menges says other counties that have used texting systems have seen “a significant decrease in failures to appear” for court hearings.

People who miss court hearing and those with probation violations are the two biggest categories of people housed at Howard County’s jail.

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