streamWrite Connect is pleased to once again be an exhibitor at the National Center for State Courts eCourt conference taking place December 5-7 at the MGM Gran Hotel in Las Vegas. We look forward to re-connecting with friends, customers and colleagues. We invite you to visit our exhibit at booth #226, where we will be showcasing our latest justice innovations, and you can enter for a prize drawing.
Every other year, the NCSC sponsors an eCourts conference, which is designed to improve court efficiencies and effectiveness by educating court professionals about the latest breakthroughs and best practices in court technology
If you are not able to attend in person (on site registration is sold out) you can attend via live stream from the comfort of your home of office. Visit https://e-courts.org/register/ for more details.
We get notifications reminding us of our many things in our daily lives, such as dentist appointments, package deliveries, or the expected arrival time of the cable TV repair technician. There has been a dramatic increase in usage by the public sector - perhaps most notably regarding the Covid-19 vaccine. While attending the NACM (National Association of Court Management) in mid-July, we had some interesting conversations that underscored the importance of court notifications, the focus of this post.
Courts use notifications for a variety of things, including jury service reminders, hearing reminders, payment reminders, collections notices and more. When it comes to criminal cases, nationwide, 35% of defendants fail to appear for court dates. As a result, warrants are issued, people are detained for days weeks depending on the nature of the charges, and the court date is rescheduled. This slows down an already backlogged system, and the cost of issuing and serving warrants and detaining people is staggering. Courts that have implemented hearing reminders have experienced a reduction in failures to appear, and since the cost of each reminder is pennies, it is a valuable tool.
Payment reminders are an effective way of improving cash flow. Collections notices are also effective because most people want to avoid being sent to a collection agency and courts want to avoid this because a significant percentage of the revenue is often retained by collection agencies - as much as 25% or more. Jury reminders are now offered by jury management system providers and IVR system providers alike, and help to improve jury yields.
By selecting the right solution for your needs and following best practices, the impact and value of these reminders will be optimized. We will cover this topic on a future post.
With Covid-19 cases remaining high into 2021 and slower-than-expected vaccine distribution, Government agencies continue to take measures to ensure public safety, and Court jury process is has been no exception.
Jury managers have made and continue to make adjustments to the jury process. Among those changes have been updated instructions on:
1) When to report - smaller jury groups mean jurors may be on call for a greater number of days.
2) Where to report - the need for social distancing has led to multiple jury assembly areas, whether within at the same building, among multiple government offices/courthouses, and in some cases, non-government locations.
In addition, measures are being often being taken to screen jurors in advance of their service date, as well as allow deferral of service for jurors that are experiencing Covid symptoms. This is often handled through pre-service questionnaires.
streamWrite Portals for Justice offers jury services communication channels such as:
- IVR - Interactive Voice Response
- IWR - Interactive Web Response
- ITR -Interative Text Response
ATI has been working with Court jury staff as well as jury management systems vendors like JSI to implement questionnaires, add new locations, implement custom messages, and outbound reminders, so jurors can obtain instructions specific to their individual or group's status.
If your Court is seeking ways to efficiently streamline the jury process or improve the juror experience, we are here to help.
Although budgets will continue to be a challenge, many Courts have been able to make adjustments to their jury process at little or no cost. For Courts seeking additional capabilities such as ITR or Jury reminders, grant funding may be available; in California, the grant application window is open until January 19, 2021.