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Juvenile Sentence Cost Calculator


Simply calculates and compares different expenditures for juvenile sentences to help attorneys and advocates (Fall 2014)

Technologies used: jQuery (JavaScript library to simplify JavaScript programming), D3.js (JavaScript library for manipulating documents based on data), Foundation (to make the web application mobile-responsive)

About the Project

The cost of a sentence has a huge impact on a judge’s ruling and is often used by the advocacy group to expose inefficiencies in the system. However calculating and comparing different expenditures is a tedious and arduous task that many attorneys and advocates simply do not have time for. The organization thus applied to Hack4Impact for help building a juvenile sentence cost calculator

About the Client: Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights

The Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights is a non-profit that defends the right of every Louisiana child to fairness, dignity, and opportunity. It is the only specialized juvenile defense law office in the country and houses the Louisiana Children’s Advocacy Group that advocates for a more fair and compassionate juvenile justice system.

You can find a link to their website here.

Initial sentence choice comparison Sentence choice calculation, with type and duration Sentence choice 1, 2, 3 calculation


Hopefully the product can make it easier for lawyers and advocates to calculate sentence costs used in defending the rights of children and improving the juvenile justice system.

The Team

Fall 2014 Team members:


  • Choose sentence type

  • Choose sentence duration in years, months, and days

  • Calculate a single sentence in dollars

  • Add different sentence choices

  • Visualize comparative sentence costs on scale

  • See dollar difference between sentence costs

Technical Challenges

  • The team spent most of the time in the first few weeks determining the features and designing the product. A majority of the planning process was spent discussing how to best display comparisons and make the web application extremely intuitive and quick to use. After a couple of design mockups the client selected the one they liked best and with a couple of modifications the coding started.


Computer Science for a Cause