CourtBot: This free program reminds you about court appearances
The Anchorage chapter of Code for America recently launched CourtBot, a free, text-based service to remind anyone with minor offenses, misdemeanors or more serious criminal cases of upcoming court appearances.
The effort is patterned of of similar launches in Tulsa and New York City, where indications are that it's helping reduce no-shows, minimize fines and lower the number of bench warrants issued for a person's failure to appear.
All-volunteer teams of coders use open source computer language to help improve government and civic services.
To sign up, just text your case or ticket number to 907-312-2700. The system, which doesn't require a smart phone or a data plan, will send a reminder the day before the hearing.
Code for Anchorage also has a text-based bus tracker. Text your bus stop number to 907-312-2060 and the system will tell you when the next bus arrives at that stop.
If you think you might be eligible for food stamps or assistance for women, infants and children, Code for Anchorage also developed pre-screening systems to help guide you. Text "food" to 907-312-2300 for SNAP (food stamps). Text "child" to 907-312-2300 for WIC (women, infant, children assistance).
Learn more about these and other projects by Code for Anchorage