Persons on probation who fail to report for their appointments with probation officers often miss out on program benefits and put themselves at increased risk of incarceration. Quick and inexpensive, text-message reminders have been found to be effective in areas such as healthcare where they led to improvements in appointment attendance and adherence to medication schedules. Based on the success of text-message reminders in other fields, Professor Angela Hawken and her BetaGov team are now working with several corrections agencies to test whether text-messaging can improve attendance rates for probation appointments.
In a recent trial with Santa Barbara County Probation, persons on probation who received a text-message reminder were less likely to fail to report for appointments than the control group. Because participants could have been scheduled for several appointments over the 10-month duration of the trial, additional analyses controlled for multiple appointments and found that the group receiving text-message reminders was 70% more likely to show up for their appointment. To learn more about BetaGov's collaboration with Santa Barbara County Probation, read the pilot snapshot at the link below.
To learn more about this and other trials visit betagov.org.