Using Technology to Help Citizens Make Court Appearances

A relatively new tech startup is hoping to make sure people make their court dates.  The company, called Uptrust, is working in California and across the U.S. to help not only remind people of their upcoming court appearances, but also to hopefully remove the barriers that people run into to actually make it to the courthouse.

The company has recently added a partnership with Yolo County, California and will be in San Bernardino County soon.

It costs a lot of money for counties when defendants fail to appear in court.  It brings up additional work for prosecutors and counties, and can result in nonviolent offenders ending up incarcerated.  An estimate of this cost from the CEO of Uptrust was pegged at around $1,000.

Reminders will certainly help people show up at their scheduled times, some of the other benefits, like informing people of daycare availability, or helping to plan transportation should remove some of the large barriers that keep people from appearing in court that are over and above just forgetting.  The technology allows for two-way communication to occur between public defenders and those they are defending, rather than to just push information.

The most important thing about this new program is that it works.  In Uptrust’s first county, Contra Costa, California, appearance rates moved from the lower 80’s to over 90 percent.

Another added benefit of the application is the data that is produced as a by-product.  Finding out what sorts of circumstances allow an increased number of defendants to make their court appearances will result in courts being able to increase compliance from the get-go.

Extract works with courts to ensure their records are indexed properly and that personally identifiable information such as social security numbers are redacted before case information is publicly available.  We automate document workflows to increase courts’ efficiency and allow employees to focus on the very important work that they do.

If you’d like to learn more about how Extract helps courts, reach out today for more information or a demonstration.


Chris is a Marketing Manager at Extract with experience in product development, data analysis, and both traditional and digital marketing.  Chris received his bachelor's degree in English from Bucknell University and has an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.  A passionate marketer, Chris strives to make complex ideas more accessible to those around him in a compelling way.