Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $750,000)
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO), in collaboration with Uptrust (a criminal justice reform-minded platform historically used by public defender departments), are requesting $750,000 over three years to develop and implement the Advanced Mobile Technology to Enhance Victim Services (AMTEVS) project. The AMTEVS smartphone mobile application and two-way text message platform will improve accessibility, facilitate higher engagement, and lower barriers to service access for victims of crime in Philadelphia, especially those from underserved communities. Additionally, this program will increase technological capacity of the DAO and enhance the quantity, quality, and security of victims’ service data collected. To meet the demand for direct services and reduce failure-to-appear rates, Uptrust will customize a smartphone mobile application to enhance the use of technology to interact directly with crime victims and provide information, referrals, crisis assistance, and long-term help. Software developed by Uptrust for the DAO is intended to serve as a cost-effective model that can be replicated nationally.
Funds are primarily budgeted for Personnel and Contracts. The DAO will hire a Program Manager to oversee the AMTEVS project, an Integrations Engineer to provide technical assistance integrating the new software with existing systems, and a Data Analyst to support data collection and interpretation for reporting and evaluation. A specialized computer including software has been budgeted under Equipment for the Integrations Engineer. Uptrust will be contracted to develop, customize, maintain, and support the AMTEVS smartphone mobile application. A small portion of funding is budget under Travel to provide free transportation to and from court for victims.
Coordinating with partners and stakeholders to guide app development
Onboarding the Project Manager, Integrations Engineer, and Data Analyst
Educational outreach on the app and services available
Signed contract between DAO and Uptrust
Smartphone Mobile Application Software
Staff Training on using the app
In line with priority area A, this project aims to promote racial equity and remove barriers to access and opportunities for communities that have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by inequality. As a high-poverty/persistent-poverty area, victims of crime in Philadelphia disproportionately come from underserved communities. The AMTEVS app will include translation features, helping to meet the need of the 40% of Spanish speaking victims. The DAO will still provide contact to victims through mail and calls, but adding this application to the communication toolbox will give victims more options and make it easier for them to access available services.