Code for America, a nonprofit technology organization, has developed technology which could help to clear the marijuana conviction records of up to 250,000 people across the U.S. The software is currently being used in California and it will be rolled out to other states where expungement laws have been enacted.
Code for America created an application called Clear My Record. This app makes it easy for the authorities to identify the cases that qualify for California’s 2016 law that defines which convictions can be expunged.
When the app was first developed, it was tested in five counties in California. At the end of the pilot project, Code for America implemented a number of updates to its application. One of the updates is the inclusion of an “Implementation Blueprint” which gives prosecutors an easy step-by-step guide to help in the processing of automatic expungements.
The second update makes the app usable throughout the state of California, and Code for America made an announcement to this effect on Thursday last week.
The state Department of Justice estimates that about 220,000 people in California qualify to have their past marijuana convictions expunged, so the app will come in handy in identifying those people and getting the expungement process rolling.
While making the announcement of the state-wide expansion of the app, Jennifer Pahlka, the founder of Code for America, said she was excited to make it possible for the state government to make good on its promise to expunge qualifying marijuana convictions so that the beneficiaries can get housing, jobs and other opportunities they couldn’t get due to the marijuana convictions on their records.
The pilot project helped prosecutors to identify about 75,000 potential beneficiaries of the expungement law and the first county to use the updated app will be Yolo County.
The website of the app allows state government officials to enter their information so that they can gain access to the free application. The technology then analyzes the data available on convictions and who is eligible before picking the files that are then forwarded to the court system so that the records can be expunged.
Code for America was motivated to do what they do because they noticed that the existing records in the court system were not designed for the digital age, and this makes it not only time-consuming and tedious but also confusing for the people who must individually apply to the courts to have their records expunged under the law. Code for America decided to simplify this process, and the app was the result of that intention.
Clear My Record is already expanding its reach as the nonprofit revealed that it had partnered with Cook County in Illinois to make use of the app in processing expungements in accordance with the law signed by Gov. Pritzker in June.
Industry advocates believe entities like Chemistree Technology Inc. (CSE: CHM) (OTCQB: CHMJF) and ChineseInvestors.com Inc. (OTCQB: CIIX) are pleased when they see innovations being introduced to speed up the correction of the wrongs done during the war on drugs.
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