Imagine you’re arrested and your cell phone is taken away. You have only few minutes to make one phone call through a public line to a number you know by heart. Who do you call? Have you memorized their number? Do you have a qualified lawyer available to represent you?
These are the questions that four social tech entrepreneurs set out to solve with Good Call (goodcall.nyc), a free 24/7 legal hotline serving New York City’s Bronx borough.
“We heard dozens of stories from people arrested for either really trivial reasons, like hopping a turnstile or forgetting to pay a ticket, or for no reason at all—just for fitting ‘the description,’” explains Gabe Leader-Rose, co-founder and project manager of Good Call. “They all said how hard it was to get in touch with their loved ones or a lawyer who could help. This lack of support and communication often snowballed into much bigger problems.”
Good Call uses Twilio Programmable Voice to give people who have been arrested the legal help they’re entitled to, and prevent some of the undue harm that can come from an arrest.