Leveraging Criminal Justice Data to Shed Light on Racial and Other Disparities in the System
Gipsy Escobar, PhD
, Director of Product Strategy (read bio
)Sema Taheri, PhD
, Director of Research Operation (read bio
Abstract: Common ground is in short supply. The same goes for accountability and transparency. As a result, public trust in the criminal justice system is at an all time low. In this climate, lasting reform is extremely difficult to achieve. Measures for Justice (MFJ) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with a mission to arm communities and practitioners with their own data to create sustainable solutions to systemic problems in criminal justice. When the public, police, prosecutors, and courts share and trust the same data, those data become the common ground for dialog and reform. Dr. Escobar and Dr. Taheri will discuss an initiative to partner with prosecutor offices across the country to develop a public dashboard where everyone in the community can: (1) track progress toward a shared criminal justice goal; (2) track monthly data on how cases flow through the system; and (3) break down all data by demographics like race and ethnicity, sex, age, indigent status, homelessness, among other things. They will discuss the tools used to turn prosecutor case management data into actionable, measurable information; the challenges of working with criminal justice data; a model for the community and the prosecutor to work together to co-create a joint space for making criminal justice data transparent and shared goals public; and plans to integrate data from other areas of criminal justice, including policing.