Performance trends

Why is this measure important?

Failure To Appear (FTA) rate relates to defendants failing to appear at court. The very low rate of FTA's for people on Pre-Trial supervision in Montgomery County is a positive outcome of the local supervision system. The FTA rate for individuals who have posted a bond to ensure their appearance at court has historically been higher. Reporting for court as scheduled is critical to keeping the court docket moving as failure to appear cases disrupt the legal process impacting the Courts, Police, Corrections, State Attorney's Office and others connected to the judicial system.

Factors contributing to current performance

  • Defendants are required to maintain contact with their caseworkers on a weekly basis either in person or by telephone. At each and every contact, caseworkers remind defendants of their pending court dates.
  • Defendants are provided a written record of their pending court dates and are required to bring it to each meeting and court dates are updated on this written document.
  • Defendants are called by Pre-Trial staff 24-48 hours in advance of their court dates to remind them of the time and location of their court dates.
  • Additional factors that more generally support high appearance rates include testing and evaluation of drugs, alcohol, and mental health with referrals to treatment. By connecting the defendants with these services they are more likely to remember and make better choices/decisions concerning court appearance.

Factors restricting performance improvement

  • Despite best efforts there will always be some defendants that are unable to be on time for their scheduled court appearances. The reasons are varied and often involve those who are indigent and/or have severe mental health and/or substance use disorder issues.
  • Defendants who fail to maintain contact cannot be reminded of their court dates.

Performance improvement plan

  • Provide effective monitoring or the defendant population utilizing best industry practices.
  • Embrace new technology to inform defendants of court dates such as automatic reminders via text and use of kiosk reporting systems.
  • Implement assessment changes as a result of the 2018 validation study.

SUPPORTING MEASURES

Average daily caseload under Pre-Trial supervision