JTDL: 🎉 5th Anniversary 🎉; Human rights & procurement + New jobs
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It’s the 5th Anniversary of the Justice Tech Download!
I want to thank you for helping this resource grow over the past five years. Doing so, we’ve been able to make this a justice technology clearinghouse for thousands of people around the globe. Please keep sending in your links and sharing the newsletter with your friends and colleagues. Promoting your work and your wins make this project better.
In a case of celebratory serendipity, I posted a draft of my newest research this week: “A Human Rights Approach to Justice Technology Procurement.” The basic idea of this work is that we can use procurement—how government buys goods and services—to improve justice technology and human rights.
A better approach to government procurement is needed for two reasons: 1. Current procurement rules are inadequate for modern technology; and 2. This allows justice technologies to hurt people’s human and civil rights.
Historically, procurement has been about getting the lowest cost per unit and safeguarding against corruption. These rules are good for tables and chairs, but they are insufficient for anything with an opinion. And, increasingly, technology bought by justice system agencies has an opinion. This disconnect has major policy and civil rights implications.
Tools, like risk assessments, gunshot detection sensors, and predictive policing algorithms, inject bias into the system. Vendors process and sell data that, alongside other information, builds profiles on people, which impacts access to public benefits, employment, and housing. Case management companies impede the public's access to government data and transparency by locking up data as if it was proprietary, up-charging government and the public for access, and limiting interoperability and functionality.
None of the software "features" and business practices behind these harms are necessary for the software to function. Instead, they are each a version of corporate rent seeking that diminishes the quality of justice and the strength of our democratic institutions.
Luckily, we can do better.
This is what my new draft article is all about, which you can read on SSRN. Please let me know what you think, as this is just a draft. As well, I’m looking for a publisher for this piece. So, let me know if you have ideas.
As always, thank you for reading. And now, on to the news (and another five years)!
Forensic bitemark analysis is not supported by sufficient data. (NIST)
A crime data company won an open records complaint against a police department’s vendor, who refused to share public data. (PA Office of Open Records) (h/t & congrats! Brittany Suszan)
Cellphone data gave away a serial killer. (Daily Beast)
A Louisville cop used a law enforcement database to seek female targets to hack for sexually explicit content. (Tech Dirt)
Courts without court. (Vanderbilt)
Smugglers are using TikTok and Instagram to dupe Americans into smuggling migrants. (Ars Technica)
A federal employee AI training bill was signed into law. (FCW)
Seeing like an algorithmic error: What are algorithmic mistakes, why do they matter, how might they be public problems? (Yale)
Policing by Proxy at Georgetown Law is Oct. 25. (GULC)
The Symposium on Computer Science and Law is Nov. 1-2. (ACM)
Computation Law on Edge is Nov. 3-4. (CLE)
Jobs & Opportunities
Access Now needs a legal compliance officer. (AN)
ACLU needs privacy and data governance interns. (ACLU) (h/t Rebecca Williams)
ACLU NorCal needs a staff attorney for its tech and civil liberties division. (ACLU) (h/t Ellen)
Amnesty International needs a researcher focused on tech an inequality. (AI) (h/t Bharati Narumanchi)
All Tech is Human is hiring a program associate. (ATIH)
Aspen Institute needs a deputy director for its tech equity work. (AI)
The Berkeley Institute for Data Science needs a data architect. (BIDS) (h/t Julie Ciccolini)
BetaNYC is hiring a civic innovation lab director. (BNYC)
Boundless has numerous openings. (B) (h/t Chase Hertel)
Brookings needs a technology coordinator for it’s AI and emerging tech work. (BI)
Center for Democracy and Technology has multiple open positions. (CDT) (h/t Alex Givens)
Color of Change needs a director of tech and media justice. (CoC) (h/t Archana Ahlawat)
Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett needs a legislative assistant covering judiciary and tech issues, among others. (SP)
Consumer Reports is hiring for a number of positions. (CR)
Data and Society is hiring for various roles. (DS)
The Day One Project has numerous openings. (D1P)
FreeWorld, a post-incarceration economic support organization, has multiple roles open. (FW) (h/t Jason Wang)
The German Marshall Fund of the US needs a research assistant. (GMF) (h/t Tony Franquiz)
The Justice Tech Association needs an intern. (JTA) (h/t Maya Markovich)
JusticeText needs a biz dev lead. (JT) (h/t Devshi Mehrotra)
Kapor Center is taking applicants for its racial equity in tech policy accelerator. (KC) (h/t Ashwin Ramaswami)
LegalServer needs an implementation specialist. (LS) (h/t Michael Hofrichter)
Legal Services of Northern California need an IT manager. (LSNC) (h/t Amy Williams)
[New] Measures for Justice has multiple positions open. (M4J)
[New] Mozilla’s Data Futures Lab is taking applicants. (DFL)
[New] Mozilla also needs a global AI policy lead. (M)
The National Center for State Courts’ A2J team needs court management consultants. (NCSC) (h/t Zach Zarnow)
Neighborhood Defender Services is hiring an access to justice fellow focused on policing, indigent defense, and data. (NDS)
New America’s Open Technology Institute needs a policy counsel. (NA)
New America’s New Practice Lab needs a product director. (NA)
The Omidyar Network needs principals for their Responsible Tech initiative. (ON)
Paladin has multiple openings. (P) (h/t Felicity Conrad)
Pathfinders for Justice needs a senior researcher. (PfJ) (h/t Themba Mahleka)
Pew is hiring an associate to work with state civil courts on justice tech, policy reform, and process improvements. (Pew) (h/t Erika Rickard)
The Philly District Attorney's Office is looking to fill a number of roles, including for a DB admin. (PDAO) (h/t Oren Gur)
The Policing Project needs a fellow. (PP) (h/t Kaylynn Lopez)
Stanford’s Digital Civil Society Lab needs practitioner fellows. (DCSL)
[New] The Shelby County DA needs a chief data officer, among other hires. (SCDA) (h/t Connor Concannon)
Southern Methodist University’s Deason Criminal Justice Reform Center needs a research specialist. (SMU) (h/t Andrew Davies)
Syracuse University’s Autonomous Systems Policy Institute needs a director. (SU)
Theory and Principle, a legal software development boutique, is hiring. (T&P)
[New] University of Arizona’s Innovation for Justice needs an academic programs officer. (i4J) (h/t Stacy Butler)
University of Denver’s Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System needs a director of legal services. (IAALS) (h/t Natalie Knowlton)
University of Michigan needs a professor of public policy focused on racial justice in science and technology policy. (UM)
Upsolve, the bankruptcy platform, is hiring for multiple roles. (US)
Urban Institute and Microsoft are accepting grant applications for projects using data to improve front-end criminal justice reform. (UI) (h/t Elizabeth Grossman)
Village Capital needs mentors for its Innovation of Justice Tech initiative. (VC) (h/t Edna Samron)