“New York City has long been at the forefront of using data and technology to direct public resources more effectively and deliver services more efficiently. We are proud to partner with Code for America and the Arnold Foundation to announce the next chapter in this effort – a new project to bring new reliable real-time information to our courtrooms to help ensure judgments are well-informed and justice is swift.” – John Feinblatt, Chief Policy Advisor to New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg

Similar to the Louisville Project (in fact, both funded by the Arnold Foundation) CfA Fellows will work with the NYC Criminal Justice Commission to identify opportunities that enhance and improve the quality, consistency, and accuracy of data used to inform policy and assess programmatic outcomes for pre-trial justice reform. The fellows will guide the development of technology tools and interfaces to facilitate data driven decision-making and tracking of defendants in pretrial status, and will increase the knowledge and skills of system personnel and criminal justice agency heads on jail and pretrial-based technological applications.

This is, and will remain, “a metro nation,” Mr. Katz said. National politicians are “about 25 years out of whack” with demographic and economic changes under way both here and abroad, he said, adding: “So the conversation in Washington seems to be happening in almost a parallel universe to the conversation at the local level, where the rubber hits the road, where you really have to grapple with issues. You can’t duck them.”

Technology isn’t so much the solution as it is a way to get more people involved in figuring out what the solution should be. That’s where the “peer-produced” bit comes in. The idea of peer networks also plays a role in the way New Urban Mechanics gets things done. Jacob and Osgood are the interface for new and experimental technology projects that need City Hall’s participation to succeed. They do that using a mix of personal connections, the fact that Boston Mayor Thomas Menino supports what they do, and relatively small cash infusions. Several projects I looked into last year were supported to the tune of between $10,000 and $25,000.