Harnessing Technology and Data for Justice for St. Louis Residents

Rise   (St. Louis)

May 2017

Thanks to CivTech St. Louis, residents can now easily access ticket information in St. Louis County. CivTech St. Louis is a partnership between Rise, a National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP) partner, St. Louis County, Globalhack, and LaunchCode. Together they designed YourSTLCourts.com, a new website and text tool to help residents navigate the court system and ultimately, help prevent people going to jail for non-violent traffic offenses.

CivTech St. Louis, working in tandem with the community, is addressing part of the systemic challenges between residents and law enforcement raised by the Ferguson Commission. With a lack of clear and available information for individuals with traffic tickets on court procedures, dates, and ticket details, citizens face compounding challenges. When not addressed, these ticket violations can lead to a spiral of amassing consequences for citizens.

The project culminated in the creation of an open-source website and text-reminder system that allows individuals to access information about outstanding municipal tickets and warrants. With YourSTLCourts users can input ticket information, a driver’s license number, or use a map to identify where they were ticketed, and then receive information on their traffic tickets through the web interface or text message. The tool includes information about court procedures, citizen's rights, fine amounts, and community service options. Citizens can receive reminders about their court data via text. For more information on the tool, watch the video and check out a blog on Living Cities.

Supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, this project is part of the Civic Tech and Data Collaborative, led by Code for America, Living Cities, and NNIP. These organizations believe that technology can be a force for the public good, and that institutions and sectors can collaborate and involve local residents. Seven communities are receiving financial resources, technical assistance, and support to develop tech and data solutions to community challenges.

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