Our NCSC Justice Reform and Government Accountability (JRGA) project funded by USAID in Serbia reported great success using SMS text and mail reminders in the Misdemeanor Courts.
The results of Model Voluntary Enforcement Projects conducted in four USAID JRGA partner courts showed that providing payment reminder notices to defendants is an effective and inexpensive means of improving voluntary compliance with financial sanctions, and avoiding more costly enforcement procedures. The project utilized both regular mail notices and SMS notices to defendants with outstanding, enforceable fees and fines.
Approximately 225,000 Euros in collections were made in the four courts during the project evaluation period. The cost incurred in providing the reminder notices was minimal - only 3,400 Euros. And the return on investment for both noticing processes was substantial. Every Euro invested in notices sent by SMS text messages resulted in 315 Euros collected. And that for every Euro invested for notices sent by regular mail resulted in 60 Euros collected.
The model noticing project testing was initially conducted in six locations with four JRGA partner courts: Aranđelovac, Belgrade (New Belgrade, Timočka and Topličin Venac), Kikinda, and Novi Sad Misdemeanor Courts. And additional courts in Becej, Nis and Kragujevac have been added after the test period.
The technology used for the SMS part of the project was minimal. It requires a PC with spreadsheet program and a USB cell modem with a SIM card similar to the one shown in the picture below.
FYI: An earlier CTB article on other reminder systems is available here.