Researchers at UC Berkeley received a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation, or NSF, for the creation of criminal justice datasets aiming to assist defense attorneys.
The project aims to create an accessible “data portal” containing police misconduct information for defense attorneys to reference on behalf of their clients, according to Aditya Parameswaran, assistant professor at the UC Berkeley School of Information and in electrical engineering and computer sciences, or EECS.
“Public defenders often have barely a few hours to prepare their case and are juggling many cases at once, so any tooling that will help them quickly paint a convincing picture for the jury, backed by data, is invaluable,” Parameswaran said in an email. “Some early work by the Legal Aid Society in NYC showed that manually gathering a collection of police misconduct data led to a number of cases against innocent clients that were dismissed.”
The project’s primary authors included Parameswaran; Joe Hellerstein, campus computer science professor; Sarah Chasins, campus assistant professor of EECS; Niloufar Salehi, assistant professor at the School of Information; and Erin Kerrison, campus assistant professor at the School of Social Welfare, Parameswaran noted.