Nevada County Public Defender adopts JusticeText to manage high volumes of video evidence

Nevada

Posted November 28, 2022

The JusticeText team is thrilled to be partnering with the Public Defender Office of Nevada County, California. The Nevada County Public Defender handles nearly 2,000 cases each year through a 15-person team - including attorneys, support staff, and a behavioral health worker - committed to fighting for justice for their clients.

Chief Public Defender Keri Klein is motivated to keep at this fight by the human impact of her team’s work, even when it feels like cards are stacked against her. She perseveres for the opportunity to see clients overcome the challenge of being caught up in the criminal justice system and experience the freedom to contribute back to the community in positive ways.

A massive increase in video evidence from body cameras

However, her small-but-mighty team has recently felt stretched thin due to recent developments in local law enforcement. At the end of last year, the Nevada County Sheriff rolled out body cameras to their patrol officers, impacting over 50% of their caseload and creating an overwhelming amount of evidence for the office to review. While Keri acknowledges this evidence is critical, it has led to attorneys staying at the office late into the night or even turning down cases.

“In six months, the number of hours spent watching bodycam videos more than doubled. We had to overload conflict twice, because we just didn’t have enough staff.”

Finding the most critical evidence

Not all of the video is relevant to the cases they’re working and the clients they serve. The team might watch the same incident from many different angles - because they’re legally and ethically required to search for all exculpatory evidence - but realize at the end that most of the video was inconsequential to the case.

This is why Keri decided to apply some of her office’s Indigent Defense Grant funds to bring on JusticeText. By uploading and automatically transcribing body camera video, the Nevada County PD’s office will quickly filter out the noise and focus on the most relevant moments for the case in order to reduce the workload. They are also excited for the platform to help quickly create clips of the most relevant sections for motions and trials.

Ultimately, Keri’s vision for public defense is to have functionality parity with prosecutors, who benefit from law enforcement investigations, easier access to testing and experts from the Department of Justice, and higher salaries for management-level attorneys.  

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“I most like seeing when our clients are able to make a turnaround in their lives and get out of the system. It just makes me so happy with our world that we have all these people who then turn around and really just add to our world in a really positive way."

Keri Klein

Nevada County Public Defender

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.