Estimated reading time: 2 minute(s)
On this episode of the Bourbon Friday Show we talk with Michael Sato, Executive Director of Freecog.
Freecog—Revolutionizing Recognisance Technology
With beginnings at the St. Louis round of the Global Legal Tech Hackathon in February 2019, Freecog was created in order to combat the bail bond system in America.
Specifically, the fact that due to the cash bond system there are many people in jail awaiting their court date, that aren’t there because they are dangerous or a flight risk. They simply couldn’t pay their bail.
The other option in this scenario is that they would get an ankle monitor, and be tracked until their court date. But in Missouri, the ankle monitor costs the wearer $30 a day—about $300 extra a month, which many people can’t spare.
So what’s the solution?
Using the GPS capabilities of smartphones, the Freecog app aims to replace ankle monitors as a low cost alternative.
This app can be used by judges, and once they create a profile, the person they want to monitor can be added to the app and tracked via their smartphone’s GPS.
Once that happens, Sato explains that the person using the app needs to send daily updates via the app, so that the judge, law enforcement, and their attorneys can know that they aren’t violating the terms of their bail.
“We can add a lot of features to that with GPS pinging,” says Sato. “We can randomize it—we can ping your phone as often as every minute. And with our geo-fencing features, we can draw a 200 meter circle around your house and just like house arrest, if you cross that line, then an alert gets generated and it gets sent to the judge, the prosecutor, law enforcement, maybe even your attorney.”
In the end, this is about saving money and reforming the justice system. Saving money by keeping unconvicted people out of prisons as well as not penalizing citizens for not being able to pay to stay out of jail until their court date.
If you would like to learn more about Freecog, you can get more information at https://www.freecogbond.com/.
As always, the Bourbon Friday team does their best to choose a fitting drink for the occasion.
The bottle this week is George Remus Bourbon. Albeit not as famous as Al Capone, Remus was a big name in bootlegging during Prohibition. Before his bootlegging days though, Remus was a defense attorney who learned the in’s and out’s of the laws surrounding Prohibition since he defended many bootleggers in court. This later enabled him to become a proficient bootlegger himself, amassing over $40 million in the 1920’s.