LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Lafayette Parish criminal justice officials are touting a court-alert system that has increased the number of defendants who appear in court when they're supposed to. As a result, the number of judge-issued warrants for court no-shows has been cut.

In September, The Advocate reports deputies with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office started a service where they call defendants one week before their arraignments or for other pretrial court dates. The calls, placed weekly, have bumped up the number of defendants who show up for appearances in state court.

The numbers tell the tale: In September, when the program started, 48 percent of defendants scheduled for appearances showed up; in October, the number was 62 percent. That's a 14 percent increase in court appearance rates.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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