Hackathon brings together parolees, technologists and journalists to create tech prototypes for the greater good.
Four possible tech interventions for easing reentry after prison
1. SMS Text System: Halfway houses don’t allow smartphones or Wi-Fi, so the team created an SMS texting system where the user can text their location and receive information on where they can find spots with internet access. The service also offers assistance on locating food and shelter.
2. Bilingual Website with Assistance: The website features pages of resources for employment, housing and more. The team also created a text application allowing flip-phone users to text “1” for job assistance or “2” for housing help.
3. Family Profile Needs Assessment App: This prototype was created for families of people who will soon be released. They can go in and make a profile of their returning loved one and detail what they need help with in 18 categories. The needs assessment will allow the person and their family to have a clear understanding of challenges.
4. Mentoring App and Website: This app and website will connect people who need mentors with those who can help. It allows those who are released crucial access to people who can answer questions and guide them in starting their life again.