2022 Solv[ED] Youth Innovation Challenge
Centralized infrastructure to store, catalog, analyze, and share video discovery in the criminal justice system to improve case outcomes for low-income defendants
Short Solution Description:
JusticeText is an audiovisual evidence management platform that strengthens the ability of public defenders to extract critical information from digital discovery. The product ultimately reduces the amount of time low-income criminal defendants spend in jail and improves the quality of the defense they receive in trial.
JusticeText’s web-based evidence management software employs automated speech recognition algorithms to automatically generate interactive transcripts of audiovisual evidence. Attorneys use the software to take time-stamped notes, create video clips, and catalog their digital discoveries. This also identifies keywords that may be of interest to criminal defense lawyers, including references to crimes, medical conditions, and legal terminology. JusticeText equips public defenders with the tools needed to identify instances of racial profiling, coercive interrogation tactics, and other violations of their clients’ rights.
Our justice system is being inundated by the 3.3 trillion hours of video captured every day worldwide from surveillance cameras and body-worn cameras. While video evidence is involved in over 80 percent of criminal cases, this crucial data can easily go overlooked without the tools to analyze it.
Our nation’s 15,000 public defenders serve over 5.6 million low-income individuals every year. A 2015 Bureau of Justice Statistics study reveals over 80 percent of felony defendants in the largest counties rely on publicly financed attorneys. Unfortunately, public defenders are obligated to assume responsibility for far more clients than they can be reasonably expected to protect. This crisis is further exacerbated by the lack of technology designed for public defense, especially as digital surveillance transforms the very nature of the modern justice system.
A staggering 93 percent of public defenders in Virginia reported difficulty in finding time to review all the footage for their cases. The longer it takes for lawyers to review the data, the longer everyday citizens spend detained in our nation’s jails.
What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year?
Navigating government procurement can be a lengthy process, particularly if the agency decides to release a Request for Proposal (RFP).
One of the primary challenges JusticeText has run into is that most major speech-to-text engines are not sufficiently trained on African American Vernacular English (AAVE) speech data. As a result, the accuracy of our automatically generated transcripts is lower when processing non-standard dialects than Standard American English (SAE), thus constituting a potential risk.
If public defender agencies experience budget cuts, then they can be expected to roll back on technology investments.
Digital discovery in the criminal justice system features a wide array of proprietary file types from organizations like Global Tel Link, Evidence Reviewer, WatchGuard Technologies, and more. Supporting some of the less common file types can be a challenge.
There is a dearth of high-quality datasets for Natural Language Processing (NLP) applications in the legal world.
Organization Website: https://justicetext.com/
Social Media Links:
Scale: A sustainable enterprise working in several communities or countries that is looking to grow significantly, focusing on increased efficiencySolution Team:
Devshi Mehrotra CEO and Co-Founder, JusticeText