Law 360 ran an article about Santa Clara Law’s recent Second Chance Gap Hackathon event, which took place on October 26. Below is an excerpt from the article.
Nearly 100 students, data experts, lawyers and reform advocates gathered at the Santa Clara University on Saturday to find technology solutions to help close the “second chance gap,” according to organizer and Santa Clara University Law Professor Colleen Chien.
The second chance gap, according to Chien, is the gulf between the promise and delivery of a legal system that purports to help people who have been incarcerated gain reentry into society through methods such as resentencing, reinfranchisement or expungement.
The participants on Saturday worked to map the experience of a person reentering society and created code for an online form that helps them navigate the maze of government websites for getting a government ID, a common challenge for people who are being released from prison. The code, which will be posted to an open source sharing website and available for all to use, provides an intuitive questionnaire that users can use to cut through the clutter and get to the sites they need to, Chien said.
“Two-thirds of people who leave prison return within three years. Our event was motivated by wanting to try to bend this curve,” she said.