Johnson County Court Offers Reminders to Cut Jail Population

by on November 15, 2010

in criminal courts

Have a court date in Johnson County? You will soon be able to expect a reminder phone call ahead of time. No, the county isn’t just doing this to be nice and help you manage your schedule; they are instead using a system modeled after similar programs elsewhere to hopefully cut back on the number being held in the local jail.

The message may be a recording or a live person reading from a script, pleasantly alerting you to your upcoming court date. They will also inform you of what will happen if you fail to appear—a warrant will be issued. The County hopes this small step will mean less missed court dates and therefore fewer residents in the jail.

The new calling system isn’t the only measure being taken, however. Officials are considering putting a population cap on the local jail—setting a maximum amount of beds that can be used to hold pretrial detainees.

This same system has been used by a few jurisdictions across the country with some pretty good success. Jail populations have dropped and there’s been no increase in risk to the public; judges are simply being more cautious in who is locked up and who is released.

Combining these measures seems to be a recipe for success. Contrary to what people think, the vast majority of “failure to appear” cases are based in a simple oversight on the defendant’s part. It’s rare that someone facing criminal charges misses court in an effort to flee from the law.

When you are cited for court and have to wait several months, it’s easy to forget a court date. Once you realize it’s passed and that you likely have a warrant out for your arrest, then you may be tempted to “stay out of sight” or somehow hope to avoid an arrest.

When you miss a court date, the best thing you can do is speak with your defense attorney. Discussing the best way to handle your warrant and the criminal charges you were originally facing, you may realize that running from the law definitely can’t make anything better.

Your warrant won’t simply “go away” with time. The court system won’t forget about you. If you are facing criminal charges or have a warrant out for your arrest, contact me today to discuss your case.

Comments on this entry are closed.