New DOJ Program Aims to Promote Data-Driven Criminal Policy Among States

Robinson+Cole Data Privacy + Security Insider

[author: C. Blair Robinson]*

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced a new joint initiative with several law enforcement organizations and industry groups to promote criminal data visibility and sharing among the states. The program, dubbed “Justice Counts,” will aggregate publicly-available statistical data and provide policymakers with tools and resources to turn abstract data into actionable policies. The program does not appear to share individual criminal records.

In a press statement, Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta said, “Our justice systems should be built on principles of fairness, effectiveness and efficiency, and policymakers and the public need better data in order to advance these principles. The better equipped we are with timely data, the more effectively we can serve our communities and secure the trust and confidence of those we serve.”

Justice Counts brings well-established data analytics principles from the business world to public policymaking. Data analytics tools such as Splunk, Tableau, and Talend have exploded in popularity in the private sector over the last ten years. However, these polished offerings tend to price out non-profit and public-sector users. Justice Counts was designed by Recidiviz, a non-profit group that aims to partner with state criminal justice agencies to “advance their use of data and reduce incarceration.” The DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Assistance will fund the project.

You can explore the data for yourself here.

*Legal Intern at Robinson+Cole. Blair is not yet admitted to practice law.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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