Criminal-Justice Apps

105 Virginia Law Review Online, 37 (2019)

William & Mary Law School Research Paper No. 09-387

16 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2019 Last revised: 5 Nov 2021

Date Written: February 6, 2019


In recent years, lawyers, activists, and policymakers have introduced cell phone applications -- “criminal justice apps” -- that are very slowly beginning to democratize the criminal justice system. Some of these apps -- such as DWI apps -- teach citizens about the law, while also connecting them with lawyers and bail bondsman. Policymakers have created apps to help defendants navigate confusing court systems. Still other apps are grander in purpose and seek to bring systemic changes to the criminal justice system. For instance, the ACLU has designed an app to fight wrongful seizures and police brutality by recording police interactions. A non-profit has created an app to aggregate spare change and use it to post bail for the indigent. This essay explores the universe of criminal justice apps and considers how they are likely to result in modest improvements to the criminal justice system.

Keywords: Apps, Application, DWI, Bail Reform, Policing, Democratizing, Criminal Justice Apps, Transparency, Criminal Justice Reform, Corrections & Sentencing Law & Policy, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Law & Courts, Law & Society

Suggested Citation

Gershowitz, Adam M., Criminal-Justice Apps (February 6, 2019). 105 Virginia Law Review Online, 37 (2019), William & Mary Law School Research Paper No. 09-387, Available at SSRN:

Adam M. Gershowitz (Contact Author)

William & Mary Law School ( email )

South Henry Street
P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States

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