Clear the Record

Can technology make laws more effective? One professor says yes.

Can technology make laws more effective? In some cases, absolutely.

Professor of Law Colleen Chien, an expert on intellectual property and innovation, discovered better ways to serve innovators by researching who earns patents. Recently she turned her empirical eye and the SCU High Tech Law Institute’s resources to the criminal justice system, examining how Second Chance laws work—or don’t.

She found people don’t use the laws designed to reduce convictions or clear records.

How big is the problem? It affects as many as 25 million Americans, making it harder for them find jobs, homes, or vote.

Technology can help. Automating how Second Chance law benefits are awarded would reduce that gap between each law’s intent and its use, she says.

“The best legal remedy in the world would have no impact if no one used it,” Chien says.

post-image Courtesy Santa Clara Law
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