Mission

Democratizing information about the criminal legal system

We are the trusted advisor for defendants and their families as they navigate the legal system. We aim to deliver valuable and relevant legal information (but not legal advice) to the user in plain language, empowering them to advocate for themselves and proactively plan for the future.

 

Through aggregated feedback & user stories, we hope to pinpoint & address systemic inequities that were once invisible.

 
Story

We are an interdisciplinary team who met at a scope-a-thon hosted by Hack Cleveland in 2018 addressing systemic inequity in the criminal legal system. Our winning idea focused on creating a bail revolving fund accessible to defendants via a mobile application.

A few months later we learned that an established national bail fund was expanding its operations to Cleveland. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, we pivoted. We began exploring the idea of a mobile app to help defendants navigate the complex legal system with information specific to a defendant's case.

We have since created unBail, the trusted advisor for defendants and their families as they navigate the criminal legal system. We aim to deliver valuable and relevant legal information (but not legal advice) in plain language, empowering defendants to advocate for themselves, proactively plan for the future, and access social services if necessary. Defendants are also encouraged to give feedback on their experience at each step of the process in the hope that this can be used to improve the system.

 
Timeline

Hack CLE Scope-a-thon

October 2018

Organized by Hack Cleveland. Where the team met, won first prize, and unBail was born.

Pivot to Democratize Legal Info

January 2019

Pivoted after learning that a national bail fund would soon be operating in Cleveland.

Cleveland State Law Practicum

May - July 2019

Pop-up Practicum facilitated by the Marshall College of Law to generate legal content for the product.

The Lab @ Cuyahoga County

June - August 2020

Gained valuable insights and contacts through The Lab @ Cuyahoga County accelerator

JumpStart Market Validation

June 2020

Completed the market validation track at JumpStart to solidify our value prop and market position

gBeta Social Impact Accelerator 

July - August 2019

Participated in Gener8tor's gBeta Social Impact Accelerator.

Civic User Testing

August 2020

Worked in conjunction with the City Tech Collaborative & NeighborUp to design and implement a user testing session to get feedback on our app

 
Team
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Paul Gehrig

Co-founder, Product Development

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Cait Kennedy

Co-founder, Executive Director

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Mary Waters

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Co-founder, Research & Content Development

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Joyce Huang

Co-founder, Steering Committee Co-Director

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James Huang

Co-founder, Steering Committee Co-Director

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Rachel Krantz

Co-founder

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Collaborating Organizations
 
Funders