When brainstorming our ideas, we were inspired by the School of Law's Reentry ID tool idea.
What it does
The Black & White Design
Research has shown that, when people are released from prison, they are often overwhelmed by their sudden independence and the fast pace of the outside world. As a result, many subconsciously find ways to become re-incarcerated in order to regain access to the same structure. We aimed to make our website as simple and user-friendly as possible by using black and white fonts and a simplistic structure, so we could present our information in a way that didn't overwhelm our audience.
The homepage displays a welcome message to the viewer.
The ID resources tab of our website provides a comprehensive guide on how to go about obtaining (or renewing) your IDs. From step-by-step instructions to lists of required identification materials to maps, this section of the website has it all! Using Microsoft Azure, the user is able to search for Birth Certificate Offices for each county in CA.
Many former prisoners experience difficulty finding a job after release. During their time spent in prison, many lose work skills and are given little opportunity to gain useful work experience. Moreover, the availability of job-training programs in prison has declined in recent years.
The job search tab of our website is designed to help people who were formerly incarcerated find jobs. Upon entering their location, this tab allows the user to find resources in their area that can help with employment.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
Before this event, none of us had used Microsoft Azure. So, we had challenges with using the API endpoint from Azure cognitive search to display the database in the UI. We found that the source of the problem was figuring out how to parse through the JSON object that we received from the endpoint, and ultimately got it working.
We had a lot of trouble generating a unique API Key for the Google Map. We troubleshooted it and were able to find a solution.
We also ran into a few issues with the format of the maps. At one point, all the data points on our maps were shifted left into the Pacific Ocean. We realized that the CSS file was shifting the data points to the left, and we were able to quickly resolve the issue.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are very proud that we were able to come up with a complete/finished project for our first hackathon as freshmen! We were also very excited to get the Microsoft Azure working, as none of us had used it in the past and it was a lengthy process.
What we learned
We learned more about HTML and CSS. We also learned more about using Cloud Services, like Microsoft Azure, and how to connect databases to an API.
What's next for Re-Entry Hub
Before publishing the site, we hope to improve the user interface of the website to ensure the process is easy for people being released from prison.