October 28th Webinar: Promoting Court Appearance & Improving Responses to Non-Appearances

On October 28, 2022, from 12:30pm to 2pm, the UNC School of Government Criminal Justice Innovation Lab will host a FREE webinar, Court Appearance Matters: Promoting Justice & Efficiency by Addressing the Problem of Missed Court Dates.

Missed appearances contribute to system-wide inefficiencies and case backlogs, use additional law enforcement resources, inconvenience victims and witnesses, and can result in collateral consequences for the person charged. However, data and experience suggest that most missed appearances are for low-level offenses and may be due to systemic barriers, such as lack of transportation or inability to take time off from work. Deliberate policies can address these barriers, ensure public safety, and improve efficiency.

Stakeholders in New Hanover, Orange, and Robeson counties have been exploring policies to address missed court dates as part of the North Carolina Court Appearance Project, which began in August 2021. In this webinar, members of the project teams will share strategies crafted and provide insight into implementation. Attendees will learn about tools they can use today to help people get to court and respond better when they fail to appear. Panelists include:

Jennifer Harjo, Chief Public Defender, New Hanover County

Barrett Temple, Assistant District Attorney, New Hanover County

Sherriff Charles Blackwood, Sheriff, Orange County & President, NC Sheriffs’ Association

Honorable Samantha Cabe, Chief District Court Judge, Orange County

Shelena Smith, Clerk of Superior Court, Robeson County

The panel will be moderated by Ethan Rex, Project Manager at the Criminal Justice Innovation Lab. This webinar will be eligible for 1.25 hours in Continuing Judicial Education (CJE). Attendees seeking Continuing Legal Education (CLE) hours will need to independently submit an application to the Bar for credit. We will be able to provide an agenda and proof of attendance.

To register for the webinar, click here. It will be hosted via Zoom.

The Court Appearance Project is supported by the Lab and The Pew Charitable Trusts. For more information about the project, check out our previous blog post and the Phase I project report.