Most pretrial defendants released to the community return to court

This graph shows successful appearance rates for all people arrested, assessed for risk, and released during the pretrial period. The vast majority (93 percent) of defendants with low or low-moderate risk scores successfully completed their court obligations after returning to the community. (Seventy-seven percent appeared for all scheduled court dates; 16 percent missed a court date but returned of their own volition.)

Although the reason for each failure is not explicitly provided, the court docket suggests that defendants sometimes are confused about court dates and are unsure if their presence is required. One plan, supported by the Safety and Justice Challenge, is to expand the court notification system so that the courts can clearly communicate important court date information to defendants via voicemail and text message.

Figure 4