National Advisory Group Releases Resource Guide Aimed to Help Prosecutors Use Data to Increase Transparency and Accountability

WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 18, 2021 – The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and Measures for Justice, working with a national advisory group of prosecutors, researchers, philanthropic foundations and national organizations, has released a comprehensive resource guide aimed to assist prosecutors’ offices seeking to implement public-facing prosecutorial dashboards.

Public-facing prosecutorial dashboards are a useful transparency and accountability tool to enhance the ability of prosecutors to communicate information about their offices’ activities and outcomes to their community using data. This new resource guide provides prosecutors’ offices considering adopting a public-facing dashboard with a set of principles, considerations, and lessons learned—all drawn directly from the experiences of those involved with the development and use of these data tools.

“Public-facing dashboards build greater transparency and allow prosecutors to more effectively engage their community, gain public trust, and advance equity in the justice system,” says David LaBahn, President and CEO of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. “The fact that so much work went into creating this resource guide speaks to the broad consensus among leaders and experts that an effort to better communicate and share data with the public can make a tremendous difference.”

“Improving how data are collected, recorded, and shared with the public is critical to bringing full transparency to criminal justice. We’re very proud to have been a part of this effort to help prosecutor offices adopt public-facing data platforms,” says Amy Bach, CEO of Measures for Justice.

In creating this guide, the advisory group’s objective was to centralize existing expertise on how prosecutors’ offices can use data to measure their progress and demonstrate the results of their efforts with their communities. Public-facing dashboards not only reflect a willingness to prioritize transparency and public accountability, but also allow prosecutors’ offices to demonstrate their commitment to racial equity and community engagement.

This project was made possible by the support of the Tableau Foundation. Additional information and updates on the new resource guide, as well as examples of existing public-facing prosecutorial dashboards, can be found here.

About Association of Prosecuting Attorneys

The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA) is a nonprofit headquartered in Washington, DC, with the goal of supporting prosecutors in their efforts to create safer communities through a more just and equitable legal system. APA is a highly experienced leader in the field of nationwide training and technical assistance. APA’s membership includes prosecutors’ offices, elected, appointed, and line prosecutors, justice system professionals, and community partners. The Association staff includes experienced attorneys and is led by practicing elected and appointed prosecutors. Through numerous projects, committees, advisory boards, partnerships, and collaborative efforts, APA is the national clearinghouse for innovative and effective prosecutorial practices.

About Measures for Justice

Measures for Justice arms communities with their own data to solve for systemic problems in criminal justice. We do this by showing people what criminal justice looks like nationwide; helping to standardize and improve criminal justice data nationwide; and offering tools, services, and research to ensure people can use the data to best effect. We believe the only way our criminal justice system can improve is by monitoring its performance, isolating what works and what doesn’t, and developing interventions based on fact. For all this work, data are critical.