Hack for Justice event – legal design and the criminal justice system

In early May, the Legal Design Lab is co-hosting a one day design sprint, with the California Attorney General’s office. The AG is focused on making it easier for normal people to understand how the criminal justice system works, and also to use the power of data to help researchers, journalists, and the public better see how California’s system is operating (and what could be improved).

We’ll be presenting two challenges to the participants in the sprint, both around using visuals to improve the system.

In the first track, we challenge people to make new media (static visuals, interactive web apps, short videos, and beyond) that help make clear how the justice system processes work, step-by-step, and empower people who are going through these processes to have better understanding and decision-making.

In the second track, we are making the data that the AG’s office gathers available for teams to visualize, cross-reference, and make use of in order to make new visuals and tools that help this data come alive. The goal is to increase not only transparency about how the system operates, but to make this data make sense and be meaningful.

See all the details about the event below — and please RSVP if you’ll be in the Bay Area and interested in bringing your knowledge and skills to making the justice system more user-friendly and transparent.


Hack for Justice poster digitalGoing through the Criminal Justice System is one of the most intimidating and life-changing experiences a person can have. Do you want to help make it more transparent and more navigable? Do you want to create better ways to help make this system more user-friendly, and fairer?

Join our Hack for Justice event at Stanford d.school on May 7th, sponsored by the California Department of Justice and Stanford Law School and d.school. We are bringing together people from different domains — law, design, technology, policy, and beyond — to create new solutions for making the justice system more transparent and user-friendly.

Background to the event

In September 2015, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris launched OpenJustice in an effort to improve transparency, accountability and improve criminal justice policy. It aims to provide more access to key criminal justice information by publishing downloadable data sets and sharing the key insights and information visualized through interactive graphs.

The Event

Hack for Justice aims to evolve the OpenJustice platform, by creating more visual, interactive resources that help the public understand the criminal justice system — both in terms of its processes and data about it.

Challenge 1: Data Analysis & Visualization: For those who like to explore key trends and insights, we challenge you to grapple with our criminal justice data, cross it with a host of other publicly available datasets, and identify new insights and create visualizations that tell compelling stories that will inform the public.

Challenge 2: Visualizing Criminal Justice Processes: For those who want to help people understand how the criminal justice system works, and what kind of steps and pathways await them as they go through it, we challenge you to create more visual and interactive explainers of the system. We have developed the text and content about how the system works (so you don’t need to be an expert). We’re looking for creative media — infographics, animations, videos, posters, apps, webpages, and beyond — that can help a person understand the complexities of these processes in engaging and human ways.


We will meet on Saturday May 7th from 10:30am-5:30pm at Stanford d.school. We will help you find a team to work with (if you like), to choose one of the challenges and use the time to brainstorm, sketch, test, and refine a new solution.

We’ll end the day with with presentations, judging, and winners announced. The top creations will be featured on OpenJustice.

There will be food! We ask you to RSVP here (see form below). We’ll then send more details about logistics.

We hope you will join us at Stanford to participate in one of our two challenges on May 7th, and please feel free to forward this announcement on to others.

RSVP for the event