February 8, 2024

JusticeText Raises $3M To Support Public Defenders With AI

Justice Text

Two computer science majors, Leslie Jones-Dove and Devshi Mehrotra from the University of Chicago, have raised $3 million for their AI platform, JusticeText.

Making the criminal justice system fairer

Jones-Dove and Mehrotra developed their idea during a class project that they both worked on during their university years.

Following protests after the shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, the duo decided to interlink their interest in technology and the criminal justice system.

“Across the country, there are a number of public defender’s offices where they’re underpaid and overworked,” James-Dove told AfroTech.

“It means that they have a lot less time to review increasing volumes of video evidence, body cam, jail calls, etc. That means some crucial information, like the information used to serve justice in this Laquan McDonald situation, goes unseen.”

Read: POC-Led JusticeText Raises $2.2M To Build Transparency In Criminal Cases

JusticeText Funding

JusticeText is a software platform that aims to help build more transparency around criminal proceedings.

JusticeText generates automated transcripts that synthesize hours of footage and video evidence from criminal cases, saving users 50% of the time.

The transcripts are available in 10 languages and provide timestamps to help public defenders note relevant video sections and emphasize proper keywords or phrases.

“We use artificial intelligence to pull out key insights,” Jones-Dove said. “So, in a police encounter, if someone gets arrested, the police officer is expected to read their Miranda Rights.“

“So, we automatically identify when that happens in your video so that you can go directly to that section. Or if it’s missing, you can assume maybe this isn’t up to standard, and this is something that we can press people on.

In 2021, JusticeText signed its first six-figure contract with a public defender’s office, marking a significant platform milestone.

It has since processed 15,000 hours of footage in 2023 and raised $3 million in venture capital from investors, including Reid Hoffman, Michael Tubbs, and John Legend.

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.