Our broken criminal justice system and what we’re doing about it.

On November 22, 2014, a 12-year-old boy playing alone in a familiar place became a martyr for a cause he didn’t volunteer to serve. Hack Cleveland came together as a response to the police involved killing of Tamir Rice. As a direct action, Hack Cleveland organized the city’s first civic hackathon called “FIX 216.”

A civic hackathon is an event where people work together with urgency and creativity to produce a technical solution that will make their cities better. #FIX216 engaged Cleveland residents to produce technical solutions that would facilitate an open dialogue, idea generation, and awareness-building around public safety, excessive force and the Department of Justice consent decree in Cleveland. It was held May 29th and 30th, 2015, and welcomed a diverse group of more than 70+ attendees, who came together to create five projects addressing various challenges facing Cleveland. To build upon “FIX 216” and our work since 2015, Hack Cleveland is organizing a community-centered event that will focus on sustainable solutions that will advance criminal justice reform.

The event is akin to a hack-a-thon, and is aptly called a scope-a-thon. The purpose of a scope-a-thon is to scope out problems, break the problems down into manageable parts, and develop a plan to address them.

While traditional hackathons are often focused on creating a technical tool during the event, a scope-a-thon focuses on understanding the purpose and use of technology in helping solve problems. A key component is centering and amplifying the voices of people who have lived experiences in our communities and to listen to them prior to and during the process of designing, testing and implementing a technical solution. Similar to a hackathon, scope-a-thons also feature teams but require that teams are led by community organizations and activists, with developers, designers, and data scientists supporting their needs.

Hack Cleveland invites you to join us in fixing 216.

Be a part of history as we gather at the MidTown TechHive, forming a multidisciplinary coalition with other concerned community members that will design innovative tech-oriented solutions addressing our broken
criminal justice system.

The Why

Our community is in the midst of a moral and economic crisis, which we can no longer accept. Neighborhoods across Northeast Ohio continue to bear the brunt of a criminal justice system that disproportionately ensnares black, brown, and low-income residents. While the full impact of this vicious cycle is felt most acutely by the individuals and their families, the magnitude of the problem and its compounding symptoms threatens the future vitality of our region.

Transforming the criminal justice system is a seemingly insurmountable task of infinite complexity. Yet we believe that within our community of change agents we can find viable solutions that will change someone’s life for the better. Now is the time for action!

The What (or What is a Scope-a-thon?)

We are once again turning to the unique expertise and radical imagination of our network to help us create a disruptive solution to a deeply entrenched problem. The FIX216: Criminal Justice Reform Scope-a-thon will challenge cross-functional teams to identify criminal (in)justice problems, break these problems down into manageable parts and develop a plan to address them. Up to $10,000 in prizes are available for the top team(s) to help them follow through and develop their ideas into sustainable, publicly available applications.

While the solutions we come up with may or may not be entirely tech-oriented, our primary focus is on understanding the purpose and use of technology in helping solve problems. Scope-a-thon teams will be led by community-based organizations and activists, with developers, designers, and data scientists supporting their needs. We will center and amplify the voices of returning citizens, whose lived experiences will inform the process of designing, testing and implementing emergent solutions. Before anyone writes a line of code, it’s crucial to understand what a technology solution needs to accomplish. This understanding bridges developers and organization representatives, and the scope-a-thon strengthens this cross-discipline awareness.

The We

HackCLE + CNP + Cleveland Foundation + Microsoft + ThirdSpace Action Lab + DigitalC

The Deets

FIX216: Criminal Justice Reform

When: Friday, October 26 | 6:00 pm — 8:00 pm (Doors Open @ 5pm)

Saturday, October 27, 2018, 10:00 am — 3 pm

Where: Midtown TechHive (6815 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44103)

Register 4 Free.