JusticeText is a US-based software platform designed for storing, cataloging, analyzing, and sharing video evidence in the criminal justice system. JusticeText’s platform is specifically designed to improve outcomes for low-income criminal defendants by enabling greater transparency and accountability around police interactions. JusticeText automatically generates transcripts of body camera footage, interrogation videos, jail calls, and more. The platform applies natural language processing algorithms to identify key parts of each transcript and enables attorneys to easily generate video clips in preparation for trial. JusticeText fills a critical gap in that it helps often overworked and under-resourced public defense attorneys easily and speedily prepare for court proceedings, thereby also speeding up the process for defendants, many of whom stay incarcerated while awaiting trial. JusticeText works in direct collaboration with 100+ public defense agencies, nonprofit services providers, and private practice criminal defense firms across the country. It was founded in 2019 by undergraduate students at the University of Chicago. JusticeText charges a fee for access to its platform and has relied on grant support and impact investment for platform development.
Theory of Change
Tools which streamline the processing of criminal evidence help public defenders more easily prepare for trial and provide low-income defendants with higher quality defense, enabling more equitable access to justice.
JusticeText’s platform uses natural language processing to analyze hours of video and audio footage. The platform generates transcripts that are automatically synced with video files, allowing users to quickly jump to the most relevant sections of video and create shareable video exhibits. The platform supports transcriptions in 10 languages. Users can also take time-stamped notes alongside the transcript for their own future reference. The platform’s video editing suite allows users to easily create clips, and the presentation mode enables easy in-trial video sharing. JusticeText supports easy export of files into accessible and commonly used formats (e.g. Microsoft Word, MP4). The JusticeText team provides direct, on-demand assistance for all platform users.
JusticeText supports over 800 public defenders across over 50 public defender agencies, including the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, Harris County Public Defender's Office, New York County Defender Services, and Virginia Indigent Defense Commission. JusticeText has been a critical resource in many trials. One success story involves a Tulsa-based legal aid nonprofit which used JusticeText to dismiss a second-degree murder charge for an indigent mother. Transcripts generated by JusticeText were crucial in helping establish that the client feared for her life, a claim that bolstered her self-defense claims. Overall, JusticeText’s automated transcripts deliver 50% time-savings to users. JusticeText’s founders were named to Forbes’ 2021 30 Under 30 List, and in 2022, they raised a $2.2M seed round.