July 19, 2023
Denver – Today, three Colorado District Attorneys’ (DA) offices unveiled “data dashboards,” a publicly available resource designed to promote more effective, just, and transparent decision-making in prosecution. The dashboards are an expansion of the Colorado Prosecutorial Dashboards project, with the 12th, 17th, and 21st Judicial Districts joining the eight Judicial Districts that unveiled data dashboards last fall. Colorado is first in the nation to move toward statewide implementation of prosecutorial data dashboards.
Collectively, the 11 Judicial Districts participating represent half of the counties in Colorado (32) and 71% of the state’s population. The remaining districts will have the opportunity to create data dashboards as the project transitions to the Colorado District Attorneys’ Council for ongoing management this fall.
“The move to create prosecutorial data dashboards was sparked by public demand for greater accountability and impartiality, along with a focus on community well-being and fairness,” said Don Stemen, PhD, Loyola University Chicago professor and co-manager of the Prosecutorial Performance Indicators (PPI) Project. “Increasingly, prosecutors are expected to take proactive, engaged responses to community problems, reduce disparities in justice outcomes, build greater trust through community engagement, and increase prosecutorial transparency and accountability. This requires robust data-driven prosecutorial work.”
The PPI is a national effort led by researchers at Loyola University Chicago and Florida International University. The Colorado Prosecutorial Dashboard project is a collaborative effort between PPI, the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab at the University of Denver, and DAs’ offices across the state. The project was funded with a grant from the Microsoft Justice Reform Initiative.
Community members can access the data to gain a better understanding of the work their DA's office does, including trends in cases filed and resolved over time, patterns in how individuals are treated, and how they are addressing serious crime and protecting and serving victims. Offices will use data from the dashboards to improve their understanding of case outcomes for similarly situated defendants, identify promising practices and programs, and determine areas where practice change could be useful.
“It is exciting to see this expanded commitment to data-driven decision-making in Colorado,” said Lauren Gase, PhD, senior researcher and project director for the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab. “This project is about using data to both support transparency and inform ongoing decision-making. I am inspired by the great work of DA offices across the state who are using their data to identify opportunities to communicate with their partners and communities, improve case processing, and reduce disparities.”
District Data Dashboard Links and DA Statements:
12th Judicial District (Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande, Saguache) – data dashboard
“The San Luis Valley has overcome great challenges in our criminal justice system in recent years. Central to the task of rebuilding trust and restoring hope is transparency. We remain committed to building the community’s trust in the District Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement community. The people of the San Luis Valley deserve our full dedication to this task. Our partnership with PPI and the data dashboard project will have a significant positive impact on these efforts and I am very excited to be part of a statewide mission to provide our citizens with accurate and informative data about the work we are doing,” said Anne Kelly, DA for the 12th Judicial District.
For more information, please contact District Attorney Anne Kelly, email@example.com
17th Judicial District (Adams, Broomfield) – data dashboard
“Coloradans should be proud that their District Attorneys are committed to transparency and data-driven decision making as part of this first-of-its-kind partnership with the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab at the University of Denver. The PPI Data Dashboards will enhance the work of the prosecutor’s office and will establish a model that DA’s Offices across the country will follow. I am thrilled that my office is a part of this trailblazing project, and I am excited about today’s data dashboard release,” said Brian Mason, DA for the 17th Judicial District.
For more information, please contact Assistant District Attorney Rhoda Pilmer, firstname.lastname@example.org
21st Judicial District (Mesa) – data dashboard
"Transparency is a guiding principle of the 21st Judicial District Attorney's Office," said Dan Rubinstein, DA for the 21st Judicial District. "We make important decisions every day, and we need data like this to inform us as to whether we are prioritizing taxpayer resources properly, utilizing them efficiently, and to help us educate the public on what we are doing. It is my duty to make sure that, as an accountable elected official, our community members have the ability to ask me tough questions to make sure I am doing the job they elected me to do."
For more information, please contact Assistant District Attorney Trish Mahre, email@example.com
To learn more, contact Dr. Lauren Gase at the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab at the University of Denver is a statewide policy lab created in 2017 under the leadership of the Governor’s Office. It brings together data analysts and social scientists with a broad range of government and community partners to create data-informed solutions to our most pressing social problems.
Prosecutorial Performance Indicators project was launched in 2017 by researchers from Loyola University of Chicago and Florida International University with funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge. A dashboard of 55 indicators has been created to assess prosecutorial progress on efficiency, community safety, and fairness.
Microsoft Justice Reform Initiative is applying the technology and expertise of Microsoft to accelerate the impact of justice reform organizations and nonprofits.