Our justice system is overwhelmed with trillions of hours of video footage captured via surveillance, body and dashboard cameras, witness interrogations, and more each day. This video evidence is involved in over 80% of criminal cases. However, it is often overlooked due in part to the lack of tools to analyze it. While it may not be the most attractive market within the legal space, there are approximately 1,400 public defender offices in the US alone with more than 16,000 lawyers who could use more technology-driven solutions to analyze video and audio evidence.
This is where JusticeText comes in. JusticeText has developed a web-based evidence management software that employs a speech-to-text machine learning algorithm to generate an interactive and searchable transcript of video and audio evidence automatically. Here’s a look at how the startup is making an impact in the legal services market, starting with public defender offices.
The Nuts & Bolts
Problem: The use of video evidence in criminal cases (from cell phones, body cameras, interrogations, depositions, traffic cameras, etc.) has become ubiquitous, with Justice Text believing that its use will accelerate after the murder of George Floyd in May 2020.
Additionally, public defender offices need all the help they can get. They are often overworked, understaffed, and many lack fluency with or access to technology tools. For example, Missouri had a total of 90,000 cases for a few hundred public defenders in 2019, a trend that is playing out nationwide.
Solution: JusticeText is strengthening the ability of public defenders and legal experts in the private litigation space to analyze crucial video and audio data with its evidence management software. Features such as speaker recognition, timestamped notes, multi-language support, accuracy heat maps, and the ability to export content in a variety of formats help expedite the pre-trial preparation experience.
Getting to Know JusticeText
We met the JusticeText co-founders during our open office hours. JusticeText’s CEO Devshi Mehrotra leads product and has interned at Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and DeepMind. JusticeText’s CTO Leslie Jones-Dove leads tech and interned at Google and JP Morgan
Despite being young, the co-founders have experienced what it’s like to work at top tech companies. They met in a class at the University of Chicago and have been able to build, maintain, and iterate upon JusticeText while being physically distant. After wrapping up at the University of Chicago, Devshi spent time in Beijing at Tsinghua University as a Schwarzman Scholar while Leslie stayed in Chicago.
Recently featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 2021, the JusticeText team is technically strong and aligned on their mission. They have an advisor on the team with experience in the public defender and legal space, and have built out a part-time team that helps with engineering and product.
Racial justice and the UN Sustainable Development Goal 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions: Building effective, accountable institutions at all levels) is at the core of the company’s mission. The team views the integration of ESG as an opportunity to identify opportunities and risks for all of their activities.
According to a Grand View Research report, the legal services space represents a $700 billion market, and there is still room for technology to upgrade inefficient and outdated practices. Recent events, such as the murder of George Floyd, have also highlighted the need for solutions like JusticeText. As the prevalence of video evidence rises, legal firms are facing a lack of resources to analyze this surge in data. JusticeText is well-positioned to benefit from the shifts taking place at the intersection of law enforcement and criminal justice within the U.S., and potentially, around the world.
Future of JusticeText
JusticeText is currently focused on the public defender sector of the legal market. However, as the company builds momentum, there is potential for the product to see demand within other facets of the legal and law enforcement communities and we are thrilled to support them on their mission.
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You can learn more about JusticeText at https://justicetext.com.
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