The program is designed to increase transparency, build public trust and improve criminal prosecution.
Fourth Judicial Circuit State Attorney Melissa Nelson announced Dec. 29 the launch of a public data dashboard to improve transparency, build community trust and bring a more data-driven approach to prosecution.
“Improving transparency and trust in the prosecutor’s office were goals we set when we began this work,” Nelson said in a news release.
“This data dashboard is a major step toward that commitment and helps us become better prosecutors and better stewards of taxpayer dollars.”
The dashboard includes 33 Prosecutorial Performance Indicators grouped in categories: Capacity and Efficiency, Community Safety and Wellbeing, and Fairness and Justice. Additional indicators will be added later.
Visit sao4thdatadashboard.com to view the dashboard.
The project is a partnership with researchers at Florida International University and Loyola University of Chicago who worked with state attorneys in Jacksonville, Tampa, Chicago and Milwaukee.
Since 2018, researchers at FIU have interviewed prosecutors and reviewed hundreds of thousands of files to help create the public data sets. The goal is to collect, analyze and present data in a way to better define and track success in a prosecutor’s office.
“The criminal justice system cannot be reformed without marked progress in the field of prosecution. We also recognize that prosecutors need to be equipped with data and analytics to understand their impact on the communities they serve,” said FIU associate professor Besiki Kutateladze in the release.
Kutateladze led the PPI project. He and his colleagues also worked with the 13th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office in Hillsborough County. The two circuits are the first in Florida, and among the first in the country, to launch such dashboards.
The John T. and Catherine D. MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge funded the project.