One of our friends had a criminal record when he was 17, and since then it has impeded him professionally. Preventing him from receiving opportunities that he has worked incredibly hard towards. Only because of a minor misdemeanor he received decades ago. We believe that people like him should have a second chance to prove themselves, and that's why we started this project.
What it does
Assists people who have committed crimes, by providing one stop solution for all states. Helping them navigate the complex law process of expunging past criminal records specific to the state.
How We built it
First we scraped the sealing forms for each state and created a rule engine that determines whether the user of the website based on their inputs are eligible to have their criminal records sealed/expunged. Aside from the rule engine, we will also have an OCR system that can automatically fill out the input. We will also proactively have the website look for people from various sources to see if they are eligible and notify them if possible. On our website, we will provide info about outdated laws and potential resources for help. In the future, we would add a chatbot to ease the process of filling the output. Some of these features are still in the progress of getting implemented.
Challenges We ran into
We found it difficult to find a comprehensive list of crimes that qualified for expungement, especially since the process varied state by state. As a result, we focused on New York for this project, since it had the highest potential to helping ex-criminals.
Accomplishments that We're proud of
We are proud that we have completed a working website that can genuinely help a lot of people.
What I learned
We learned that it would've been helpful to work more closely with legal experts and how complex it is for someone to navigate the expungement process.