Various factions are claiming differing positions as facts that most of us may no longer be sure which of these to believe. In these times of information overload, one thing that we can rely on to ensure we’re actually grounded to reality and speaking the truth is by basing our opinions and positions in well-established data.
In this session, Dr. Gipsy Escobar emphasizes the value of data in criminal justice policymaking and identifying best practices. Dr. Escobar is the Director of Innovation Research at Measures for Justice (MFJ). She has extensive multidisciplinary criminal justice research experience designing and managing complex research projects, mentoring staff, and communicating research results to varied audiences.
Topics she unpacked on this webinar are:
- The concept of the criminal justice data gap which left its agencies and partners making policy decisions in the dark and without definitive standards.
- How access to data translates to big changes – strengthening practices and policies that are working and reforming those that are not.
- Recommended strategies from the audience in hopes of addressing the realities of the criminal justice data gap.
- A brief overview of the history and data captured by the MFJ and the various types of information that may be deduced from these.
- How MFJ allows apples-to-apples comparison, standardized definitions across states, and speed up data processing to publication.
- The challenges in data access, centralization and comprehensiveness, and the data to support the rate that these challenges were encountered by the MFJ.
- The three goals that MFJ identified in their data efforts and the phases of the criminal justice process that they want to apply this into.
- A glimpse into the data process that MFJ undergoes to ensure that all the reports that are released to the public have gone through rigorous data integrity steps.
- A live demonstration that shows the user-friendly interface of the MFJ website and its capabilities in terms of the detail it can provide.
- Live demo illustrated the different criminal justice elements that can be statistically analyzed, and trends and insights that may be concluded from the data.
Questions from the audience were about:
- MFJ website accessibility.
- Inclusion of juvenile justice and mental health data.
- The process to determine which performance measures will be developed.
- The agencies that MFJ collaborates with to access the data.
- Coordination with state, local, and tribal agencies.
- The process in terms of laying out standards.
- MFJ as a resource to track gun crime data.
Resources and Handouts
- “I feel all the content provided by the presenter was very educational and valuable information.” — Adelina
- “Comparing the dashboards used here with those in my city was interesting.” — Ann
- “The charts and extra videos were helpful to understand the presentation!” — Cassie
- …”I never analyzed the number of different agencies throughout the country that were collecting criminal justice information.” — Lillie
- “I didn’t know about the “Measures for Justice” until this webinar – I can’t wait to go onto the website and check out the data resources!” — Toni
- “Data justifies the allocation of resources. Data indicates the location of hot spots.” — Pamela
- “The database demonstration. Never knew this existed.” — Patti
- “Informative today and look forward to accessing the website speaker mentioned and passing it along to others in the field.” — Simone