Earlier this week, the nonprofit Measures for Justice launched an amazing new data portal “to assess and compare the criminal justice process from arrest to post-conviction on a county-by-county basis. The data set comprises measures that address three broad categories: Fiscal Responsibility, Fair Process, and Public Safety.”
According to The Marshall Project:
The project, which has as its motto “you can’t change what you can’t see,” centers on 32 “core measures”: yardsticks to determine how well local criminal justice systems are working. How often do people plead guilty without a lawyer? How often do prosecutors dismiss charges? How long do people have to wait for a court hearing? Users can also slice the answers to these questions in different ways, using “companion measures” such as race and political affiliation.
Just six states are included so far, but fortunately for us, Wisconsin is one of them. The others are Washington, Utah, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida.
The site is really incredible. It allows you to zero in and compare data for measures including bail payments, diversion, dismissals, case resolution, type and length of sentence, and more. Data is then presented by county with the option to further limit and compare by race/ethnicity, sex, age, offense severity, and offense type.
For example, here’s a screen shot from the tool comparing non violent felonies sentenced to prison by Wisconsin county further filtered by race/ethnicity. Note that you can select specific counties to more deeply explore and compare data as shown below.
Kudos to Measures for Justice for creating this remarkable and easy-to-use tool.