By Darling Gonzalez
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin Monday announced the addition of two new dashboards on the San Francisco District Attorney’s website that will allow the public to track criminal justice information.
These new dashboards make San Francisco the first District Attorney’s Office in the state of California to share prosecutorial data and metrics with the public.
The new launch will allow the public to smoothly access crime data in San Francisco including incidents, arrests, and prosecution rates for more than 60 types of crimes from 2011 to the present.
The title for one of the dashboards is “SFDA Prosecutions of SFPD Incidents & Arrests” which will track the number and types of incidents reported to the San Francisco Police Department (“SFPD”) that result in arrest or criminal prosecution.
This new dashboard will allow public users to filter by police district, year, and SFPD Incident Category and follow each phase of the criminal legal process for reported incidents.
Boudin stated, “My office is committed to transparency and data-driven policies and these new dashboards promote increased public access to criminal justice data.”
An example given would be, if a member of the public is interested in learning more about the number of auto burglary reports police received in the Central District in 2021, the user can find that the Central District Police received 4,719 reports of auto burglaries in 2021, using the dashboard and its filters.
In addition, if the user wanted to know what percentage of those arrests that were presented to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office (“SFDA”) resulted in prosecution, they could also use the appropriate filters to find this information.
The dashboard would display that of those incidents presented to the SFDA in 2021, 0.74 percent resulted in an arrest, and 74.29 percent resulted in criminal prosecution.
However, the DA’s Office said the “SFDA Prosecutions of SFPD Incidents & Arrests” dashboard only includes data from the SFPD and no other law enforcement agencies like California Highway Patrol or the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department.
The other criminal justice resource is a recently updated dashboard titled, “SFDA Actions on Arrests Presented.”
This dashboard will demonstrate how many cases of each type of crime have been reported by law enforcement agencies to the SFDA and what actions the SFDA will take on those matters.
The new update for this dashboard will allow public users to see crime trends for over 60 different types of crimes.
Under the category “Action Taken,” users will be able to see, for example, whether the SFDA moved to revoke probation or parole supervision, or referred a particular case to law enforcement for further investigation.
When a referral for further investigation is taken, there may be requests for DNA evidence, fingerprints, or retrieval of video surveillance footage.
For example, if a user wants to know how many robbery cases law enforcement presented to the SFDA in 2021, they can use the filters to find that there were 280 cases in which robbery was the most serious charge.
And, if the user wanted to see how the SFDA responded to those cases, they would find that the SFDA filed new charges in 71.79 percent of the cases, and took action on 84.64 percent of them.
These new updates to the dashboard will allow a more transparent and explicit understanding of SFDA responses to incidents and the process of what is happening with each case.
“I commend the hard work of our data team in creating these new, straightforward dashboards to increase transparency and information access and we are proud to share them with the public,” DA Boudin said.
The “SFDA Actions on Arrests Presented” dashboard allows users to see the filing rates for each charge, and how those rates have changed over time.
This is important because although police officers make arrests based on probable cause, the standard for prosecuting and filing charges is different for District Attorneys as they may only do so with proof without a reasonable doubt.
The SFDA’s Intake Unit thus reviews new arrests and whether a charge would need to be filed or if a case must be discharged.
The “SFDA Prosecutions of SFPD Incidents & Arrests” dashboard contains incident numbers from SFPD data made available to the public by www.dataSF.org, a city-wide public data portal.
Cases involving sensitive incidents such as homicide or domestic violence are excluded from the data set maintained by the SFPD to protect victims and their privacy.
Incidents with incomplete data or non-criminal incidents, such as lost property are also excluded.
Due to the key differences between these two systems, the “SFDA Actions on Arrests Presented” dashboard would be the best at finding the most accurate source of data on prosecution rates as it draws exclusively from SFDA data including arrests from all arresting agencies in San Francisco.
In 2020, the SFDA made available a “Justice Dashboard” where the public could find information of those convicted of a crime and sentenced to county jail or community supervision.
Former San Francisco District Attorney and now current Los Angeles District Attorney, George Gascón, expressed his support for DA Boudin’s new resources and its launch for progress.
DA Gascón expressed, “While I was San Francisco’s district attorney, I created “DA Stat” to ensure the fair and effective administration of justice. I am excited to see DA Boudin building off of this foundation and advancing it to the next level.”
The Yolo County District Attorney’s Office also commended DA Boudin’s progress by describing the dashboard’s benefits.
“The San Francisco DA’s updated data dashboard is a leap forward in the transparency race that every district attorney in the nation should be running in to improve the criminal justice system,” said Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig.