Defendants now receiving texts about court dates

(Cleveland) - The Cuyahoga County Public Defender's Office is now sending text messages to remind clients of their court appearances. 

Public Defender Mark Stanton says clients often fail to appear before a judge because of slow postal delivery of notifications, a change of address, or communication mix-ups by the courts, and attorneys, but nearly everyone has a cellphone on them at all times, and can be quickly contacted.  

Stanton says clients who miss their court dates run the risk of being arrested and jailed, and that costs taxpayers money. 

He tells Newsradio WTAM 1100, texting has improved court attendance significantly. Stanton credits demand for bail bond reform for sparking a push for improved notification of clients. 

Stanton says his office is using a software called OPD Online to to send text messages to their clients about their upcoming court dates. 

The cost is only a fraction of a penny per text. The texting program is also being used in many other Ohio counties, and is also being rolled out nationwide.

(Photos by Ken Robinson/WTAM)

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