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Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office Opens Justice System Data to Public in New Dashboard

Medical College of Wisconsin Institute for Health and Equity contributes to transparency, accountability, data-driven reform

Milwaukee, September 29, 2020 – The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office (MCDAO) released today a publicly available dashboard containing data on key indicators and decision points on how the justice system functions from referral to sentencing. This includes the number of referrals to MCDAO, length of time to first contact with victims, case dismissals prior to filing, charges issued, case disposition and sentencing. In addition, there are specific measures related to the distribution of cases by demographic characteristics such as gender and race/ethnicity.

“The creation and public release of this dashboard is a continuation of the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office commitment to provide the people we serve with information that measures how we are performing the critical mission of protecting the community in a way that respects and protects the rights and dignity of victims and offenders alike,” said Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm.

The website and visualizations are part of a larger project on Prosecutorial Performance Indicators, an office management, performance measurement and transparency and accountability tool that helps prosecutors’ offices measure their performance toward greater capacity and efficiency, community safety and well-being, and fairness and justice.

Branden DuPont, data analyst in the Institute for Health and Equity at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) led the development of the dashboard, along with Don Stemen, associate professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Loyola University of Chicago. This project is in collaboration with Loyola, Florida International University and MCW and is funded through the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge.

The data on the site will expand in the coming months based on identified next steps and external feedback. It will be updated monthly.

“This is an ongoing commitment,” Chisholm said. “The data reflected here is just the first of many data points that we intend to release to allow the public to see how we measure the work we do in a values-based organization.”

Members of the public can fill out this form to provide feedback, request additional data or analysis or ask questions about the site.

The dashboard is the first of its kind in Wisconsin and joins a handful of other prosecutor offices around the country similarly committed to transparency, accountability and data-driven reform.

Chisholm will give a formal presentation on the dashboard at an upcoming Milwaukee Community Justice Council Community Meeting of the Whole.

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