Colorado DAs unveil data dashboards on prosecutions

Sep 8, 2022, 6:43 AM | Updated: 6:47 pm

DENVER (AP) — A bipartisan group of eight Colorado district attorneys on Thursday unveiled online data dashboards providing information to the public on the cases they prosecute, including the racial and economic status of defendants and the kinds of sentences handed down for them.

The effort is part of a trend among more prosecutors nationally to provide more transparency to the public about how the criminal justice system works and also help them address any racial and economic disparities after first identifying them in the numbers. The data is taken from internal case management systems and then analyzed in a way that can be understood by prosecutors and the general public.

District attorneys in cities including Philadelphia and Chicago and parts of California are among those that have started to use data dashboards — interactive collections of graphs and tables showing the data — to promote transparency, said Seleeke Flingai a senior researcher at Vera Institute for Justice. The research and policy organization has provided technical assistance to help district attorney offices use data to change policies affecting racial disparities and mass incarceration but was not involved in Colorado’s project. Flingai was not aware of any other statewide effort to share such data other than Colorado’s.

Some jurisdictions have gone farther than just providing the summaries shown on data dashboards. Philadelphia’s district attorney’s office publishes reports interpreting the data on specific issues and offering solutions, Flingai said. Chicago’s top prosecutor, who was among the first prosecutors to use data, Kim Foxx, also makes raw data available so people can analyze it for what they are looking for, said Mona Sahaf, deputy director of Vera’s Reshaping Prosecution program.

John Kellner, the top prosecutor in the 18th Judicial District in Denver’s southern suburbs, said he became interested in exploring more prosecution data after discovering more white teens were being put into diversion programs than Black teens because the Black teens tended to live in Aurora, where the municipal court did not provide a diversion option as municipal courts in other parts of the district did.

“Disparity does not necessarily equal discrimination but you want to understand why we have disparate results,” he said.

Kellner, the Republican candidate for Colorado attorney general in November’s election, said he is also hoping following data can help prosecutors in his district focus on the biggest offenders in the growing problem of auto thefts there.

Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said prosecutors are “swimming upstream” against a fundamental mistrust of government and need to work to earn the public’s trust, especially from communities of color after a tough on crime approach led to mass incarceration while not offering enough help to marginalized people.

“Our collective challenge is to use this data to understand our work and apply to improve public safety and the criminal justice system,” said McCann, a Democrat who describes herself as a progressive prosecutor.

Colorado’s voluntary pilot program to analyze the data and post the dashboards was done with the help of the Prosecutorial Performance Indicators Project, a joint effort led by researchers at Loyola University Chicago and Florida International University, and the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab at the University of Denver.

Next, Colorado’s other 14 district attorneys will be asked if they would also like to participate, said Lauren Gase, a senior researcher and project director at the Colorado lab. Researchers will also be taking a deeper look into racial data, she said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Photo from Flickr...
Associated Press

Respite center opens to families of those who died in combat

A respite center for families in the United States who have lost loved ones in combat since 9/11 will open Friday on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula.
19 hours ago
Downtown Vancouver Washington Photo from Flickr...
Associated Press

Vancouver City Council bans large fossil fuel facilities

The city council in Vancouver, Washington, has approved a permanent ban on new fossil fuel developments after years of temporary moratoriums.
19 hours ago
FILE - This undated photo released by the Arizona Attorney General's Office shows Guillermina Fuent...
Associated Press

Arizona woman seeks leniency in ballot harvesting case

PHOENIX (AP) — A parade of character witnesses provided a judge Thursday with glowing reports about a southern Arizona woman who admitted collecting four voted early ballots in the 2020 primary election, as her lawyer seeks leniency and prosecutors urge him to send her to prison for a year. Testimony in Yuma County Superior Court […]
19 hours ago
Leaders attend the Ministerial Meeting of the Summit Implementation Review Group during the 52nd Ge...
Associated Press

Support for Venezuela’s opposition is dwindling at OAS

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Venezuela’s opposition suffered a rebuff Thursday as 19 members of the Organization of American States backed a proposal to remove its envoy from the regional forum for political and economic issues. Although the proposal failed to get the two-thirds marjority, or 24 votes, needed to be put on the agenda of […]
19 hours ago
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting on economic issues via videoconference at the No...
Associated Press

Biden: Nuclear ‘Armageddon’ risk highest since ’62 crisis

NEW YORK (AP) — President Joe Biden said Thursday that the risk of nuclear “Armageddon” is at the highest level since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, as Russian officials speak of the possibility of using tactical nuclear weapons after suffering massive setbacks in the eight-month invasion of Ukraine. Speaking at a fundraiser for the Democratic […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Women, children drown fleeing attack in Nigeria’s north

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Several women and children drowned while trying to escape an armed attack in Nigeria’s troubled northern region, residents and a government official said Thursday. The victims died when their boats capsized while fleeing an hours-long assault by unidentified gunmen Wednesday night on the Birnin Waje community in Zamfara state, said Ibrahim […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Colorado DAs unveil data dashboards on prosecutions