REPORT: Measures for Justice, Association of Prosecuting Attorneys Take Steps Toward Data Transparency

Via Unsplash.com

By Perla Chavez and Sarah Chayet

ALAMEDA, CA –  Joining a national effort, Contra Costa County reports it has collaborated with Measures for Justice (MFJ) and the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA) in a study to improve data transparency in the criminal justice system and prepare for public disclosure, fostering community engagement and reforms, the MFJ announced in a report this past week.

“APA’s robust network of prosecutors’ offices are prosecuting a large share of the nation’s crime,” said David LaBahn, president and CEO of the APA, in the MFJ report.

“In working with these offices to move toward data transparency, we are supporting their commitment to building legitimacy and trust in the office’s policies and practices. We commend Contra Costa on taking this important step to more equitable outcomes,” added LaBahn.

As part of the Tableau Foundation’s Racial Justice Data Initiative—a component of the Salesforce Foundation—the MFJ said the study assisted the office in evaluating the completeness and quality of their data so that it might serve as a significant starting point for community discussions around policy reform and change.

According to the MFJ’s report, the Tableau Foundation’s Racial Justice Data Initiative is a $12 million, three-year commitment to facilitating accessibility to racial justice data that advocates need to force change at the local level and to strengthen the data capability of national, regional, and community-based groups fighting anti-Black racism.

The MFJ said the Salesforce Foundation focuses on leveraging technology and grants to address social issues and promote community engagement. The collaboration between the MFJ and APA was established in alignment with an initiative aimed at advancing racial justice data, emphasizing their commitment to the cause.

On the MFJ website, MFJ is described as a nonpartisan nonprofit organization dedicated to creating data tools and services that assist communities in reforming the criminal justice system. The APA aids prosecutors in promoting a fair legal system that is more just and equitable, contributing to the safety of communities.

As stated in the article, the data readiness prepared by the MFJ and APA will equip offices to make their data accessible to the public.

The MFJ provides an array of tools and services that empowers communities in achieving complete data transparency, including Commons, a community-driven data platform that reforms criminal justice policy based on the access to data that’s been enabled.

The MFJ reported Contra Costa County is among one of the nine jurisdictions utilizing the support of the MFJ and the APA, to execute or conclude initiatives related to data readiness or the implementation of the Commons Platform.

MFJ indicated these other locations include Dallas County, TX; Miami-Dade County, FL; Davidson County, TN; Norfolk, VA; Fairfax, VA; Ramsey County, MN; East Baton Rouge Parish, LA; and Jackson County, MO.

“We are so proud to see nine jurisdictions across the country, including Contra Costa County, demonstrate their willingness to help make the criminal justice system more transparent and accountable,” said Amy Bach, CEO and Founder of Measures for Justice, in the MFJ report.

Bach added, “This work is a first step towards making high-quality data available to the public as a basis for critical conversations about change.”

About The Author

I'm a recent California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo grad. I majored in English and received a minor in Studio Art. In the fall, I plans to go back to school for a master's degree in English Literature. Currently, I am a transcript editor for CalMatters, and I hope to enter the field of technical writing someday. In my freetime, I love to draw, go on roadtrips, and camp

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