What:

The Just Info hotline is an easily accessible source of support and information for anyone impacted by the criminal legal system in New York City. We give critical legal information and service referrals to New Yorkers subject to aggressive policing and mass incarceration.

Just Info offers free access to legal information about the criminal penal system for any New Yorker, 24 hours a day, in order to promote equitable legal outcomes. We provide hard-to-find, reliable information through a hotline, as opposed to often inaccessible written resources. We provide service referrals relating to the many collateral consequences that stem from interactions with the criminal legal system. We use a searchable Wiki to manage information and referrals. Volunteer hotline operators are trained in informational content as well as crisis intervention.

Just Info is founded upon a commitment to equity in the legal system, and within our own operations. People have a right to participate effectively in decisions that impact their futures in fundamental ways. Just Info will help to ensure they have the information and resources to do so.


Why:

The criminal legal system is vast and complicated, and in dealing with arrest, jail, and legal proceedings, confusion can have dire physical, economic, legal, and emotional consequences for criminal defendants, their families, and their communities. Existing information is often stated in unnecessarily complex language, hidden under multiple layers of bureaucracy, scattered throughout different offices and websites, and altogether inaccessible to those who most need it. Quick and easy access to reliable information in straightforward language about the criminal process will serve to mitigate harms, enable those most affected to advocate for themselves, and spread hard to access information to as many people as possible. The Just Info hotline will not rewrite this information, recreate an existing service, or provide legal advice, but rather will collate existing information and make it easily accessible.