Second Judical District
201 W, Colfax Ave, Dept. 801
Denver, CO 80202
September 8, 2022 Contact: Carolyn Tyler, Communications Director, email@example.com, 720-913-9025
Colorado First in Nation to Move Toward Statewide Use of Data to Improve the Fairness and Effectiveness of the Criminal Justice System
Denver – Today, eight Colorado District Attorneys’ (DA) offices unveiled “data dashboards,” a new publicly-available resource designed to promote more effective, just, and transparent decision-making in prosecution. The dashboards were created through the pilot phase of the Colorado Prosecutorial Dashboards project. The project will next create the tools and infrastructure needed to scale up use of data in DAs’ offices statewide.
“The move to create prosecutorial data dashboards was sparked by public demand for greater accountability and impartiality, along with a focus on community well-being and fairness,” said Don Stemen, PhD, Loyola University Chicago professor and co-manager of the Prosecutorial Performance Indicators (PPI) Project. “Increasingly, prosecutors are expected to take proactive, engaged responses to community problems, reduce disparities in justice outcomes, build greater trust through community engagement, and increase prosecutorial transparency and accountability. This requires robust data-driven prosecutorial work.”
This is the first statewide initiative for the PPI, a national effort led by researchers at Loyola University of Chicago and Florida International University. The Colorado Prosecutorial Dashboard project is a collaborative effort between PPI, the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab at the University of Denver, and DAs’ offices across the state. The project was funded with a grant from the Microsoft Justice Reform Initiative and supported by data stored and shared by the Colorado District Attorneys’ Council.
Prosecutors worked together with researchers, with input from their communities, to create the data dashboards. Community members can access the data to gain a better understanding of the work their DA’s office does, including trends in cases filed and resolved over time, patterns in how individuals are treated, and how they are addressing serious crime and protecting and serving victims. Dashboard developers recommend looking at different data points in relation to one another to see both what is happening and to understand the why behind trends and patterns. Offices will use data from the dashboards to improve their understanding of case outcomes for similarly situated defendants, identify promising practices and programs, and determine areas where additional training could be useful.
“Transparency and easy public access to data are two items that can go a long way in nurturing trust and faith between prosecutors and the communities they serve,” said Jeremy Shaver, a spokesperson for Hate Free Colorado, a diverse group of community partners who are dedicated to countering hate crimes in Colorado. “We appreciate that the participating District Attorneys’ offices held meetings with community leaders to learn what they want and expect out of this project. We look forward to how the dashboards may increase awareness on how prosecutorial decisions are made in Colorado.”
“There is a commitment in Colorado generally, and certainly among the judicial districts, to data-driven decision-making,” said Lauren Gase, PhD, senior researcher and project director for the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab. “The dashboards are a way to take the data from the case management system and make meaning of it and display it in ways that support transparency and use within each office.”
District Data Dashboard Links and DA Statements:
1st Judicial District (Gilpin, Jefferson) – data dashboard
“The dashboard was designed to help us identify actions to reduce disparities at points of prosecutorial discretion to make sure that victims and defendants are not treated differently because of their race, neighborhood, or income,” said Alexis King, DA for the 1st Judicial District. “This new resource provides the public with greater insight and transparency about what goes on in our courtrooms and the outcomes of our work, and transparency builds trust.”
For more information, please contact Director of Conviction Integrity & Equity, Jennifer Kilpatrick, firstname.lastname@example.org, 720-695-1176.
2nd Judicial District (Denver) – data dashboard
“Our involvement in the dashboard project grew out of our two studies on race and justice and affirms my pledge to the people of Denver to be mindful of cultural and racial impacts in the work that we do so that we are treating people of all races and ethnic backgrounds fairly,” said Beth McCann, Denver District Attorney. “We are committed to transparency and embrace prevention-oriented approaches to public safety; approaches that are rooted in data and facts. By using our existing data, we can be smart on crime, think about new ways to maximize public safety, ensure fairness, and create new systems of accountability to the public.”
For more information, please contact Communications Director Carolyn Tyler, email@example.com, 720-913-9025.
5th Judicial District (Clear Creek, Eagle, Lake, Summit,) – data dashboard
“The data dashboard will not only provide more transparency to those who want to see how certain types of crimes are being charged or resolved, but it will also allow us to see how we are doing as prosecutors on behalf of our communities. If the data highlights how attorneys and staff in my office handle certain cases, I can appropriately respond by identifying needed training or policy updates so that we can ensure an equitable and fair outcome for every case we touch,” said Heidi McCollum, 5th Judicial District Attorney.
For more information, please contact John Bryan, Bryan@da5.us.
6th Judicial District (Archuleta, La Plata, San Juan) – data dashboard
“The data dashboard allows the people of our community to have direct access to key information about their criminal justice system. As leaders on criminal justice issues, it is our duty to be as transparent and responsive as possible so that we can build a stronger and better criminal justice system for everyone. This dashboard is a great step in that direction, and will help us identify ways to build on our strengths and improve our shortcomings,” said Christian Champagne, 6th Judicial District Attorney.
For more information, please contact DAreports@co.laplat.co.us.
7th Judicial District (Delta, Hinsdale, Gunnison, Montrose, Ouray, San Miguel) – data dashboard
“I promised accountability at the District Attorney’s Office. In the past it has been difficult, cumbersome, and time consuming to gather and process the data necessary to measure how we were performing as an office, ” said Seth Ryan, DA for the 7th Judicial District. “Thanks to the work of all involved in the Prosecutorial Dashboard project, we can now obtain and analyze important and timely information about what we do and how we do it. It is crucial for any modern organization to be able to look at past performance and set goals for the future. This project has shown us where we can improve and allows us to set goals to enhance performance.”
For more information, please contact Public Information Officer Denetta Sandoval, firstname.lastname@example.org, (970) 252-4260.
8th Judicial District (Jackson, Larimer) – data dashboard
“Our work towards a safer and more equitable community demands we use data-driven methods to address problems and improve our criminal justice system,” said Gordon McLaughlin, DA for the 8th Judicial District. “This project will deliver substantial new information to the public about their justice system and create opportunities for community feedback on the effectiveness and priorities they observe. It will also provide our office with insights to tackle complex issues like reducing disparities in sentencing and improving our focus on the most consequential cases. The public release of this data puts us on the cutting edge of prosecutor transparency and will greatly benefit our pursuit of public safety.”
For more information, please contact Jodi Lacey, email@example.com, (970)498-7206.
18th Judicial District (Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert, Lincoln) – data dashboard
“Too often the criminal justice system can seem like a black box of information. You either had to be there or have some special knowledge to understand what was happening. Our dashboards are intended to open up the justice system for everyone, to build trust through transparency, and ensure we’re accurately identifying and solving problems,” said John Kellner, DA for the 18th Judicial District.
For more information, please contact Media Relations Director Eric Ross, firstname.lastname@example.org
20th Judicial District (Boulder) – data dashboard
“Community safety is our top priority. As part of that commitment, community members should be able to trust in our justice system. By being transparent and sharing data through this dashboard, the public can view the data and facts for themselves,” said Michael Dougherty, DA for the 20th Judicial District. “This dashboard will also allow us to enhance public safety, identify opportunities to address disparities, build trust in our office, and improve the justice system for all of our community members.”
For more information, please contact Christian Gardner-Wood, email@example.com
To learn more, contact Dr. Lauren Gase at the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab at the University of Denver is a statewide policy lab created in 2017 under the leadership of the Governor’s Office. It brings together data analysts and social scientists with a broad range of government and community partners to create data-informed solutions to our most pressing social problems.
Prosecutorial Performance Indicators project was launched in 2017 by researchers from Loyola University of Chicago and Florida International University with funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge. A dashboard of 55 indicators has been created to assess prosecutorial progress on efficiency, community safety, and fairness.
Microsoft Justice Reform Initiative is applying the technology and expertise of Microsoft to accelerate the impact of justice reform organizations and nonprofits.