CivTech STL Releases Tool to Navigate St. Louis County Court System
CivTech St. Louis released YourSTLCourts.com, a tool aimed at minimizing the barriers to accessing ticket information in St. Louis County. Civ Tech St. Louis is a partnership between Rise (National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership member), St. Louis County, Globalhack, and LaunchCode (St. Louis Civic Tech and Data Collaborative). Together this group designed a website and text tool to help county residents navigate the court system and ultimately, help prevent the jailing of people who have committed non-violent traffic offenses.
Following the findings of the Ferguson Commission, CivTech St. Louis is addressing part of the systemic challenges between residents and law enforcement. Working in tandem with the community, CivTech STL recognized that a contributing factor to the issue was a lack of clear and available information for individuals with tickets. When not addressed, traffic ticket violations can lead to a spiral of amassing consequences for citizens. Without clear information on court procedures, dates, and ticket details, citizens were facing compounding challenges.
The project culminated in the creation of a website and text tool that allows individuals to access information about outstanding tickets. YourSTLCourts enables users to either use the web interface or a text message to input ticket information, user information or a geography tool and receive information on their traffic tickets. The tool includes information about court procedures, citizen’s rights, and tracking court dates and fine amounts. Moving forward, citizens can receive information via text. For more information on the tool check out this blog, authored by John Cruz and Laura Kinsell-Baer https://www.livingcities.org/blog/1196-court-data-in-st-louis-county-sharing-sensitively.
This project is part of the Civic Tech and Data Collaborative, led by three national organizations—Code for America, Living Cities, and National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP). The work takes place in seven communities that receive financial resources, technical assistance, and support to develop tech and data solutions to community-level challenges. CTDC is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.