At Code for America, we seek to transform the way government delivers services to those most affected by the criminal justice system. We leverage technology and user-centered design to help government implement policies that decriminalize, decarcerate, and reinvest in communities by removing barriers to employment, housing, health, and education.
Transforming the way government delivers services does not mean we are simply digitizing existing processes. Instead, we are working to fundamentally rethink processes and reshape the system, and do so at scale.
For people who have had contact with the criminal justice system, it becomes exponentially harder to find stable housing, earn a living wage, receive primary health care, access affordable and nutritious food, and build financial security. Additionally, the systemic biases, trauma, and complexities of intergenerational poverty create additional barriers and interference with a person’s ability to successfully return and thrive in the community.
And yet, when reform is introduced, it often does not take into account whether or not the government is equipped to effectively or efficiently deliver the relief that is promised. Instead, people most impacted by the criminal justice system are left to navigate the complexities and redundancies of the system in a manner that strips them of their dignity, sets failure as the bar, and neglects to support healing, family unity, and community connection.
We must do better.
Since 2016, Code for America has been working with government partners to make it easier to secure housing and employment with ClearMyRecord, reshape community supervision to reduce recidivism and support positive outcomes for people on pretrial supervision, probation, or parole with ClientComm, and, through our national volunteer Network, reducing pretrial incarceration through CourtBot.