Good Call was created after talking to dozens and dozens of New Yorkers about their horrible experiences with the criminal justice system. Today, when arrested, the majority of people don't have access to a lawyer or their loved ones until 15 minutes before they see a judge. As a result, people are sent to jail for the wrong reasons and even before being convicted, resulting in lifelong consequences. We wanted to change that using technology that kept our communities at its center. We decided to start in the Bronx where there are historically high police interactions and arrests. Working with the Bronx Defenders and the communities there, we launched Good Call's hotline in 2016. Good Call runs a free 24/7 arrest support hotline in NYC. In case of arrest, anyone or their loved ones can call 1-833-3-GOODCALL and be connected to a lawyer immediately. Since launching 2 years ago, we've connected over 650 people to legal support across NYC and are now partnered with 5 of the largest public defending services in the city.
Everything from our hotline to the content of the website has been created in collaboration with people in our communities. Not only does our website provide information about our hotline, but it also allows people to save emergency contacts that they would want alerted in case of arrest. As an added value to the hotline, people can visit www.goodcall.nyc to the contact information of their loved ones. Therefore, instead of having to remember multiple phone numbers to call after an arrest (your phone is taken away), calling 1-833-3-GOODCALL will connect you to a lawyer, and also your loved ones. Good Call's mission is to provide all New Yorkers with better legal representation, regardless of their income, where they're from, or what they look like. We work with other community organizations, recently incarcerated folks, and people from the NYC neighborhoods we serve to spread information about our hotline and do community outreach. Our 1st hire was our neighborhood manager Malik, who actually used our hotline during an arrest and was able to receive help that prevented him from violating his probation.