App/Tech Social Justice

Brendan Cottone

Mobile Media

2.22.15

Social Justice App/Tech

The prison industry is a steadily growing problem in America. With over 1,574,700 people held in state and federal facilities in 2013, it shows that a significant portion of the American population is affected. Incarceration rates and inequalities lead to underdeveloped communities and act as a vicious cycle, especially considering ex convicts are given such few options in regards to turning their lives around outside of prison. There are varying ways to combat the incarceration rates, problems and lifestyles of cons and ex-cons by looking to develop technologies that focus on educating and rehabilitating convicts. By offering ways to reintegrate into society after serving prison sentences, and focusing on rehabilitation instead of punishment, a technology or application could significantly increase these chances.

When considering an application to develop to combat the incarceration rates and prison industry, it is important to understand that the majority of prisoners do not have access to a mobile application and technology. This limits the focus of developing a technology geared towards ex-convicts that are being reintegrated to society, or the youth by developing an application that can be used in schools or rehabilitation programs such as YAP, juvenile corrections and probation. Rehabilitation and Education is key when developing a social justice application in this field, and by focusing on the target audience can be highly beneficial.

This application when geared towards ex convicts can be truly successful. With up to 650,000 people released from prison every year, up to two thirds of will likely be rearrested within three years of release. By creating an application that offers opportunities such as job applications, volunteer work, and social engagement, these could potentially put ex-convicts in situations that could keep them out of prison and offer life-changing opportunities. When most convicts leave prison, they are often not left with much besides the life they had before they went to prison. Without opportunities they are most likely going to fall back into the vicious cycle and return to prison. This application could offer education opportunities that put ex convicts on a track, whether it is a hobby, job or niche. They will be able to communicate with either others in their situation, or people who have genuine interest in help rehabilitating ex convicts by offering opportunities. Essentially, this application can work as a rehabilitating social media service for ex-convicts that offers features much like a site like LinkedIn would.

Developing an application for juveniles that have been in legal trouble would also focus on the same features, however would work in a different fashion. For youths, the app could feature volunteer opportunities, give information towards career paths, and offer services that educate them on their rights and abilities. YAP panels can implement the technology into their rehabilitation sentences, by requiring offenders to use the application, engage with its services and finally report back with results either with it being through volunteer work or job opportunities. This application, while it does have many variables, can be a key concept in the rehabilitation of both troubled youth, and ex-convicts that are looking to reintegrate themselves into society.

Works Cited

  1. Carson, Ann E. “Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) – Prisoners in 2013.” Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) – Prisoners in 2013. BJS, 16 Sept. 2014. Web. 22 Feb. 2015.

2, 3. Wishner, Mary. “Race in the Criminal Justice System.” — Gallagher Law Library. Univ. of Washington, 10 Oct. 2013. Web. 15 Feb. 2015.

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