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Reducing Courts' Failure to Appear Rate: A Procedural Justice Approach [Nebraska Statewide, Select Counties, 2009-2010]

Metadata Updated: February 13, 2023

The purpose of the study was to examine the effectiveness of using different kinds of written reminders to reduce misdemeanants' failure to appear (FTA) rates. The study examined the problem of FTA via a two-stage experiment. In Phase 1, 7,865 misdemeanor defendants from 14 Nebraska counties were randomly assigned to one of four reminder conditions: (1) a no-reminder (control) condition; (2) a reminder-only condition; (3) a condition in which the reminder also made them aware of possible sanctions should they fail to appear (reminder-sanctions); or (4) a condition in which the reminder mentioned sanctions but also highlighted aspects of procedural justice (PJ), such as voice, neutrality, respect, and public interest (reminder-combined). Data collection began in March 2009 and continued through May 2010. Files were received daily from the Nebraska Administrative Office of the Courts containing information about cases filed in each of the 14 counties included in the study. Upon receipt of this file, researchers screened participants using certain eligibility criteria. Researchers mailed postcard reminders two to five business days prior to the scheduled court appearance. Approximately one week after each scheduled court appearance researchers accessed the courts' administrative database (JUSTICE) to determine whether the defendant actually appeared for the scheduled hearing. Upon accessing this information, researchers recorded this variable, which is the primary dependent variable in the study. At the same time researchers recorded the appearance variable, they selected participants for Phase 2 of the study -- a mail survey administered after their scheduled appearance (or non-appearance) to assess their perceptions of procedural fairness and their level of trust/confidence in the courts. To do so, researchers selected all participants who failed to appear for their court date to receive a survey. Twenty percent of defendants who did appear were also randomly selected to receive a survey. Surveys were sent to a total of 2,360 individuals and were received from a total of 452 defendants. The study contains a total of 197 variables including demographics, court appearance characteristics, experiment characteristics, charge/offense variables, and variables from surveys about experiences with the court system.

Access & Use Information

Restricted: This dataset can only be accessed or used under certain conditions. License: us-pd

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Metadata Created Date August 18, 2021
Metadata Updated Date February 13, 2023

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOJ JSON

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date August 18, 2021
Metadata Updated Date February 13, 2023
Publisher National Institute of Justice
Identifier 2852
Data First Published 2011-06-22T10:00:14
Language eng
Data Last Modified 2011-06-22T10:08:09
Rights These data are restricted due to the increased risk of violation of confidentiality of respondent and subject data.
Public Access Level restricted public
Bureau Code 011:21
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Harvest Object Id 05e6f115-7c91-4db4-9e65-11acfca8708b
Harvest Source Id 3290e90a-116f-42fc-86ac-e65521ef3b68
Harvest Source Title DOJ JSON
Program Code 011:060
Publisher Hierarchy Office of Justice Programs > National Institute of Justice
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 0ea696db2ae24638cdb794c56eb8f57b7c393306
Source Schema Version 1.1

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