Projects: Juvenile and Criminal Justice System Data Indicators Project
In late 2009, Vera’s Center for Youth Justice (CYJ) began collaborating with the Executive Office of the Mayor in the District of Columbia (DC) to develop and disseminate monthly data indicator reports—statistics that help stakeholders analyze how well a system is operating—covering DC’s juvenile and criminal justice systems.
CYJ and DC staff researched publicly available criminal and juvenile justice data to establish potential indicators. They also met with federal, local, and community-based organizations to determine which indicators would be most useful to local and state policymakers and strategized about how to distribute and institutionalize the indicator reports within the District. In DC, where the criminal and juvenile justice systems are fragmented across multiple District and federal agencies, a comprehensive and user-friendly set of indicators, from the point of arrest to court disposition or sentencing, would allow government and community-based stakeholders to see, for the first time, how the justice systems were operating from beginning to end. By designing and sharing monthly indicator reports that span the various points of each system, local officials were in a better position to examine justice practices, pinpoint system needs, and implement data-driven reforms.