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Court Notifications Best Practices

In a previous post, I discussed the importance and value of providing outbound court notifications.  Today we'll take a look at some best practices for sending effective outbound notifications.

Notification Content

There are multiple posts and sources, including the link below, which cite that reminding people of court dates, when combined with other messages regarding the consequences of FTA (failure to appear), is more effective than just sending date, time and location notifications. 

In addition, notifications are being customized with remote appearance instructions (number to call along with PIN, or video link information) or Covid-related instructions, such as "if you are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms or have tested positive in the last 10 days, please call the court."     

Frequency and Quantity of Messages

Depending on the type of event, consider sending multiple notifications leading up to the event date and time.  In the example of an upcoming hearing, an initial notification might be sent two weeks before the hearing date, followed by additional reminders one week, one day and two hours prior to the scheduled time.  It can also be beneficial to send notifications after events for FTA or past due payments.

Notification Methods

It can be useful to provide notifications in multiple ways, and if sending multiple notifications for a single event, it might be good to combine different types of notifications, such as post cards, emails, automated calls and text messages.  

The New York City Criminal Justice Agency has provided a comprehensive publication that shares summary data from multiple studies, and delves deeper into best practices, including data collection, messaging templates, when to send notifications, how to evaluate the success of your program and more.      

https://www.nycja.org/publications/court-date-notifications-2

 

 

Windows Server 2022 Coming Soon

I recently wrote about the upcoming Windows 11 release scheduled for later this year. Along with Windows 11, Microsoft will be releasing the next generation server operating system, Windows Server 2022. This release is now in preview for Windows Insider members.

Introducing Windows Server 2022

Security Enhancements

Several security enhancements will be included in the release such as: 

  • Secured core server includes a set of drivers for hardware and firmware along with virtualization-based security and a number of other measures affecting hardware and hypervisor related vulnerabilities and concerns
  • HTTPS and TLS 1.3 are now enabled by default, eliminating outdated cryptographic algorithms
  • Encrypted DNS keeps name resolution traffic private by using HTTPS
  • SMB AES-256 encryption enables more advanced cryptography when connecting to other computers that support the algorithms, and can be enforced with Group Policy

Azure Hybrid

Azure hybrid capabilities will allow management of servers hosted outside of Azure using tools from within Azure. A hybrid machine (with the Azure Connected Machine agent) connected to Azure becomes a connected machine within Azure, giving it a resource ID and resource group. Organizations can then use Azure Arc to simplify the management of the environment through a single pane of glass.

Windows Containers

Included are several enhancements for running Windows Containers and using Kubernetes. Among them container image size will be reduced by as much as 40% with startup time improvements of 30% and greater performance overall.

Edge Browser

Microsoft's Edge browser takes over as the default browser for Windows server, finally replacing IE once and for all.

Storage Migration

Storage migration including user and group storage, Linux server storage, etc. becomes easier with Windows enhanced Storage Migration Service.

Summary

Detail on other features and much more information is available from Microsoft on What's new in Windows Server 2022

Our team is looking forward to spinning up this latest server operating system and running validation tests on it with our Portals, self-service, application-server software.

The Value of Outbound Court Notifications

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. 

 

 

ATI Connect Exhibiting at NACM - San Diego

ATI Connect is excited to return to the NACM Annual conference next week in San Diego, and we look forward to building new relationships as well as seeing our long-time friends and colleagues. 

Patrick Bahar and Victor Aranda will be at booth #112 and will be sharing advancements ATI have made in the past year with the streamWrite Portals platform and the exciting plans we have to help Courts improve access to justice and move toward the digital courtrooms of the future.  

Stop by booth #112 to say hello and learn more.

Government Modernization.....Post-Pandemic

Came across an article regarding government modernization and the Post-Pandemic “Digital Transformation”, thought it was a good read and wanted to share.

 

Below is a link to the article as well as a few of the talking points.

https://statescoop.com/pandemic-was-a-tipping-point-for-government-modernization/

 

Talking points:

 

  • Many public agencies are in a transition period between “doing digital” — using digital technologies to augment legacy systems — and “becoming digital,” in which they follow a mixture of physical and virtual processes.

 

  • Several large-scale experiments in government rolled out so quickly and at such a massive scale during the pandemic.

 

  • The pandemic demonstrated just how far many government agencies still must go to become truly digital-first organizations.

 

  • Agencies came through the pandemic saying that the crisis has accelerated their digital transformations, and that more needs to be done, with 80% saying their agencies’ efforts “haven’t gone far enough.”

 

  • Most governments agencies are lagging behind the corporate world in harnessing the power of digital.

 

  • One effect of the pandemic is that governments are finally seeing digital services as vital as corporations have.

 

  • “Typically, previously, we’d see very big discrepancies between government and the commercial sector in how they thought about digital”.

 

  • Among the U.S. public sector, states and larger municipal governments were further along, especially in terms of experimentation and innovation. They launch pilots more frequently, scale pilots more frequently, innovate faster.

 

  • Government at all levels is likely to be more mature in the near future. “All agencies will have strong digital capabilities in five years”.

 

  • While post-pandemic digitization efforts are unlikely to unfold at the breakneck speeds at which state and local governments scrambled during the early days of COVID-19, agencies should try to move more quickly than they did prior to the health crisis. They shouldn’t end up with the speed they had before, It should be somewhere in between.

 

I believe that agencies that are in the process of the digital transformation and are successful in “becoming digital” will create a better quality of life for their citizens, strengthen public trust and improve their overall customer service.

If your organization hasn’t started this process already then now is the time, don’t wait until the next big disruption; whatever that may be.