Author: Matt Debnam
Every day, criminal justice policymakers across the country make critical decisions that affect the lives and safety of the American public. In a rapidly changing world of new challenges and mounting fiscal pressures, having access to up-to-date criminal justice data is paramount to ensuring sound public policy.
Justice Counts, a new project from the Council of State Governments Justice Center and the U.S. Department of Justice, seeks to provide just that – criminal justice metrics that will foster data-driven decision-making for the 21st century.
On Wednesday, May 4, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., criminal justice practitioners from across the country are invited to participate in a virtual event highlighting the new project and unveiling the first set of Justice Counts metrics.
Compiled by more than 100 people and agencies across the country, including the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, these metrics will offer insights on the latest trends in law enforcement, corrections and community supervision. This information will then be available to states and localities to incorporate into their day-to-day operations, creating opportunities for well-informed policy and budget discussions.
Hosts of Wednesday’s event will include DPS Deputy Secretary for Analysis, Programming and Policy Nicole Sullivan, who has served on the Justice Counts Steering Committee and played a key role in representing North Carolina throughout the project.
“This initiative is an opportunity to finally have a consistent baseline for criminal justice data in the different disciplines,” Sullivan said. “This data helps to tell our story. We talk about making data-driven decisions, but if nothing else, it helps for the legislature to be data-informed about what we’re doing, what seems to be working and what metrics we’re using to measure our effectiveness.”