UAB students design app to help former offenders as they reenter society

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 6:05 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Students at UAB have designed apps to make a difference, specifically, to help former offenders as they re-enter life outside of jail.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says more than 600,000 people are released from state and federal prisons every year.

More than 66% are arrested within three years of their release date, and half are reincarcerated.

So, two UAB professors, Sally Cramer, Ed.D. and Stacy Moak, Ph.D., teamed up to not only teach students about the challenges offenders face once they’re released from jail, but also ways to design an app that can be used as a resource.

And through that, students created a resource app and a gaming app called Life in Check and Life Track.

“Those students did a fabulous job with them and we really hope that we can take this all the way to the end. And get this into the hands of people who these can make a difference for,” said Cramer, visiting assistant professor in the Department of Art and Art History.

Both professors said they’re working to find funding to deploy the two apps.

In the meantime, they hope students take the empathy and ideas they gained from the development of these apps to help more people in their future careers.

“For the opportunity of these students to meet these former offenders and hear their stories and actually see them as humans instead of criminal cases, really changed their perspective about everything that they do. Their knowledge that they’re getting from college can be applied in the real world to help real people with difficult circumstances,” said Moak, professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration.

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