“Spokane County is an ideal place to launch the next iteration of the Uptrust platform because of their commitment to pretrial justice reform and lowering the number of people in their jail that don’t need to be there,” said Jacob Sills, founder of Uptrust.
SPOKANE, Wash. (PRWEB) August 22, 2018
Uptrust, the criminal justice-focused text message communication and reminder service, today announced that it has officially launched its partnership with the Spokane Public Defender’s Office. The Office joins more than 10 established Uptrust contracts with county and state governments across the Country, all to reduce the number of Failure to Appear (FTA) incidents, arrest warrants and technical violations. The partnership is also slated to reduce costs for the Spokane County in terms of improved efficiency for attorneys as well as decreased jailing for technical violations such as FTAs.
“The launch of Uptrust and our partnership with them marks the first time in my 28 years of Public Defense work where we are investing in change from the perspective of the client,” said Thomas Krzyminski, Director, Spokane County Public Defender Office. “Navigating the criminal justice system is complicated. Uptrust allows us to provide notifications to clients in a timely, personal manner. Clients deserve the service Uptrust can provide, and we appreciate Spokane County for supporting the implementation of this valuable tool.”
Currently, local governments spend more than $9 billion on unnecessary pretrial incarceration, and an additional $1 billion issuing and enforcing FTAs. At the same time, bench warrants can become wasteful of law enforcement’s time and funds. By eliminating FTAs and bench warrants, Uptrust helps law enforcement to ultimately focus on their most important work.
Uptrust and the Spokane County Public Defender will work together under a contract that will see that all public defender clients (who represent the majority of defendants within Spokane County) receive text reminders for their court dates. The trademarked Uptrust platform helps public defenders’ offices connect with defendants to remind them to show up at court and other scheduled legal appointments. In Spokane, Uptrust’s services will also help connect defendants with already-available county resources, such as childcare at the courthouse.
To date, Uptrust’s messaging system has reduced FTAs by over 50 percent in certain jurisdictions, with 30 percent of users texting back to their attorney, continuing the correspondence. The platform provides a communication and reminder tool similar to many modern dentist or doctor appointments.
“Spokane County is an ideal place to launch the next iteration of the Uptrust platform because of their commitment to pretrial justice reform and lowering the number of people in their jail that don’t need to be there,” said Jacob Sills, founder of Uptrust. “When most defendants miss court it is because they never received the reminder or forgot, not because they are fleeing. We look forward to helping Spokane’s citizens receive fairness and decisions that are favorable and just, and not misrepresented by a failure to appear due to reasons that can be avoided through modern technology.”
Uptrust is a text message-based communication and engagement tool helping defendants arrive at court for their scheduled hearings and other mandatory appointments. By improving the relationship between the criminal justice system and defendants, Uptrust has proved to keep low-income defendants out of jail on bench warrants and technical violations, while also saving attorneys time and reducing the cost to the municipality or county. Uptrust currently is contracted with more than 10 public defender offices around the US, and reaches over 100,000 defendants. Uptrust is a public benefit corporation supported by the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, RFK Human Rights and the Heising-Simons Foundation; it has offices in San Francisco, CA and Northampton, MA. To learn more about Uptrust, visit http://www.Uptrust.co.
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