Support the Massachusetts Bail Fund and their CourtWatch program on October 21! Courtwatchers collected valuable information about how people are being treated in court – data that would not otherwise be publicly available. The Mass Bail Fund needs to manage the hundreds of pieces of data collected by our courtwatchers. This event is an opportunity for HLS students and community members to help the Mass Bail Fund input data from courtwatching.
The Massachusetts government shares no data about bail decisions. We don’t know what bail amounts prosecutors ask for, what reasons judges give for their decisions, or whether a defendant’s ability to pay bail is even considered before someone is detained on unaffordable bail. To fill in this data and hold the government accountable, the Mass Bail Fund has conducted a courtwatching program at arraignments in the Massachusetts court system for the past six months. Because electronic devices are not allowed in court, volunteers have recorded their observations on paper forms that now need to be entered digitally. The Mass Bail fund needs your help to fill in their datasets so that they can analyze the data and use their findings to assist their advocacy for bail reform.
Volunteers: bring a laptop and be prepared to stay for the full 3 hours. Food will be provided. The building is wheelchair accessible.