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JusticeText rolls out AI-powered bodycam transcription for Kentucky public defenders

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JusticeText is excited to announce a partnership with the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy (DPA). Established in 1972, the agency takes on more than 140,000 cases each year with a team of nearly 400 attorneys providing client-centered legal representation.

Critical, impactful work

Kentucky DPA Trial Division Director Sam Cox graduated law school from the University of Kentucky in 2003 and began working as a public defender shortly afterward.

Two years into his career as a public defender, Cox was assigned his first capital case. Looking back, he describes how that case transformed his worldview. “My client was somebody who grew up in Eastern Kentucky, which is very similar to where I grew up in southern West Virginia,” Cox remembers. “We were essentially the same age, our families were quite similar, our backgrounds were quite similar and I thought, gosh, this could have been me if things had just been a little different."

Since that case, Cox has never questioned the value of public defense. He reflected on the fact that his client would likely be in a different spot if somebody had helped him get out of jail, find work, and be with his family the first time he encountered the criminal legal system. "It just made me realize that this is really, really important work for a lawyer to do."

Impact of body-worn cameras

Now, as the Trial Division Director, Cox uses his years of experience with client-centered defense to train the next generation of attorneys. The best part of this role, he says, is “helping others see that they can succeed and to have the confidence in themselves to go have the fight.” 

Yet, in his new position, Cox is also exposed to the challenge of operating in a system with inequitable resourcing. He shared that recruiting and retaining attorneys is challenging without financially competitive offerings, leading to overwhelming caseloads for existing attorneys.

The rise of digital discovery in the legal justice system only adds to the strain. “The advent of body cameras has been huge,” says Cox. “We have offices that really struggle to find the resources, the bandwidth, the time to watch it all.”

Even with the workload challenges, public defenders in the office recognize the importance of having access to video discovery as a tool to hold law enforcement accountable. “It's so good. I wish everybody was in a body camera for every single arrest,” says Cox. 

Saving time and improving advocacy with AI

In 2023, Kentucky DPA brought on JusticeText, a software platform built specifically for public defenders, to help with digital evidence review.

JusticeText provides automated transcription, video clipping, collaborative note-taking, and AI-powered insights to help public defenders get the most from their digital discovery and earn back time amid challenging workloads. An attorney in the Covington office shared that JusticeText has already saved her hours, translating to a much better work-life balance.

Another attorney in Lexington shared how JusticeText helped him better advocate for his clients, by finding key moments in the discovery to impeach another witness. 

"Using JusticeText in trial was pure gold. The clip-making was great, but even better than that was being able to use the keyword search during impeachment in real time."

The JusticeText team is thrilled with the opportunity to partner with Kentucky DPA to support their client-focused work.

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"It takes hours and hours and hours just to review a 30 minute tape. JusticeText cuts that out and improves our advocacy."

Sam Cox

Sam Cox

Kentucky DPA Trial Division Director

Is JusticeText Right For You?

If you are an attorney looking to make sense of high volumes of audiovisual discovery, there are many ways in which you can utilize JusticeText to streamline your pre-trial preparation process. Reach out today to learn about how you can get started with JusticeText.