New texting program designed to reduce overcrowded jails in Missouri

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Mo. — A new texting program is aiming to reduce overcrowded local jails in Missouri.

Michael Barrett, public defender system director, says the program called ‘uptrust’ will send text messages to remind defendants about their upcoming court dates and other legal appointments.

Barrett says his office normally sends reminders through the mail, but that isn’t always effective because most clients don’t have stable homes.

He says this automated texting service will improve the failure to appear in court rates.

And that this could impact local and state budgets by cutting down on both unnecessary warrants and unnecessary pre-trial detainment.

The state of Missouri owes local jails about 43 million dollars for holding citizens who are awaiting trial.

The five cities in Missouri that will be a part of the pilot project are St.Louis, Columbia, Jefferson City, Troy, and Kennett.

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