Uptrust Supports Justice-Involved Individuals By Helping Them Navigate and Successfully Exit the Criminal Justice System
Arlington, VA (May 18, 2021) – Stand Together Ventures Lab (STVL3, LLC) announced a new investment in Uptrust, the civic empowerment technology that has helped to ensure that 250,000 individuals nationwide were able to attend their court dates, marking a 50% reduction in failures-to-appear and millions in cost savings. Uptrust’s $2M seed financing round was led by impact investor The Decarceration Fund, with support from Luminate and STVL3, LLC.
Uptrust exists to keep people out of jail that should not be there. The San Francisco-based company has created a smartphone app that connects users directly with attorneys and probation and parole staff, enabling more positive, supportive relationships through direct communication and community-based social service referrals. The Uptrust app reminds users of their court obligations, offers easy messaging with public defenders or probation officers, and maintains users’ trust by never passing along fees or geo-tracking users.
“Uptrust was founded with the goal of keeping people out of jail that should not be there, through a simple solution: direct and accessible communication. We are living in a country where 25% of the people entering U.S. prison don’t need to be there. They are needlessly behind bars for technical violations, at a taxpayer cost of $2.8 billion every year,” said Jacob Sills, co-founder and CEO of Uptrust. “That figure doesn’t even begin to take into account the significant and damaging personal costs to justice-involved individuals: impacts to their families, their employment, and to child custody. We must, and will, do better.”
“Uptrust’s work centers around a belief that people will do the right thing if given the proper resources,” said Sihyun Choi, executive director of STVL3, LLC. “This investment is about believing in people. Instead of making monitoring solutions cheaper and more ubiquitous, Uptrust is addressing the root causes behind why individuals are assessed bail or put under monitoring supervision in the first place. I’m incredibly proud that our team has invested in the largest communication platform dedicated to connecting communities and keeping people out of jail.”
Based in San Francisco, CA and Northampton, MA, Uptrust is a cost-effective and user-first communications platform that provides justice-involved individuals with accessible tools to avoid violating their probation or supervision by staying up-to-date on their appointments and obligations. Uptrust has proved to keep low-income defendants out of jail on bench warrants and technical violations, while also saving attorneys time and reducing the cost to the municipality or county. Uptrust is supported by individuals and foundations including but not limited to the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, Inherent Foundation, Schmidt Futures, RFK Human Rights, The Heising-Simons Foundation, The Redlich Horwitz Foundation, Decarceration Fund, Stand Together, and Luminate.
To learn more about Uptrust, please visit www.Uptrust.co.