Open Justice

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Releases New OpenJustice Data Showing Racial Disparities in Adult Arrest Rates

November 4, 2016
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SAN FRANCISCO - Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the release of a new round of OpenJustice data that explores adult arrests and racial disparities in California over time, marking another significant expansion of the first-of-its-kind criminal justice transparency initiative rolled out last September. OpenJustice makes available to the public criminal justice data in an accessible format, including a Dashboard with user-friendly visualization tools and an Open Data Portal that publishes raw data. 

“This data release highlights pervasive inequalities in our criminal justice system,” said Attorney General Harris. “Data is key to being smart on crime and crafting public policy that reflects the reality of policing in our communities and improves public safety. We must continue the national dialogue about criminal justice reform and promote the American ideal that we are all equal under the law.” 

Today’s rollout includes a detailed breakdown of arrests since 2005, with a demographic focus, painting a more complete picture of who is arrested for specific crimes. The new data and analysis reveals substantial shifts in overall adult arrest patterns since 2005:

  • In 2015, felony arrests dropped by 29% (~120,000 arrests) while misdemeanor arrests went up by 11% (~80,000 arrests), as Proposition 47 re-classed many drug possession and theft offenses under $950 from felonies or wobblers to misdemeanors.
  • Felony arrests rates for theft steadily dropped almost 50% over the past 10 years.
  • Felony arrests rates for narcotics dropped 80%, with half of the drop occurring through 2014 and the remaining half occurring in 2015.
  • Beginning in 2008, there has been a downward trend of total arrests—a 17.5% drop over seven years (an average of 32,500 per year).
  • DUI arrests dropped over one-third from their high in 2008, and misdemeanor marijuana arrests are now rare due to a 2011 law making simple possession an infraction.

These overall arrest patterns have led to some notable reductions in racial disparities:

  • Arrest rates among Hispanics have decreased for most offenses over time, with arrests for felony assault dropping over 30% and for misdemeanor DUIs dropping about 40%.
  • From 2005 to 2014, the African American arrest rate for narcotics dropped by two-thirds; the felony marijuana arrest rate fell by 50%. The narcotics arrest rate for Hispanics dropped by nearly 50%.  
  • In 2015, arrest rates of African Americans for narcotics, dangerous drugs, and burglary all dropped between 200 and 300 per 100,000.
  • Arrests of Hispanics and whites also fell in 2015, particularly for dangerous drugs where the arrest rates lowered by ~200 per 100,000 (for narcotics and burglary they lowered 50–85 per 100,000).

Despite the overall drop in arrest rates, particularly among African Americans and Hispanics, significant disparities by race still remain in 2015:

  • African Americans are 10 times more likely to be arrested for robbery, 3-5 times more likely to be arrested for burglary, theft and assault than whites.
  • African American men are 6 times more likely to be arrested for felonies involving narcotics or marijuana than are whites. 
  • African American women are 20 times more likely to be arrested for prostitution than are white women; compared to white men, African American men and Hispanic men are also arrested for prostitution at 6.5 and 3.5 times greater rates, respectively.
  • For most offenses, Hispanic women are about as likely to be arrested as white women, while Hispanic men are more likely to be arrested than white men.

Attorney General Harris’s commitment to reforming our criminal justice system and reducing disparities extends beyond the release of this unprecedented open data initiative. In February, Attorney General Harris unveiled OpenJustice v1.1, with criminal justice data provided at the city, county, and state level and contextualized with demographic and population information, including poverty and unemployment rates.

Attorney General Harris has also convened a 21st Century Policing Working Group with law enforcement leaders from across the state and created the first-ever course for law enforcement, certified by the Commission on Peace Officers and Standards Training (POST) that infuses procedural justice tenets with information about confronting and overcoming implicit bias, training. She also directed a 90-day review of the California Department of Justice’s policies and practices around implicit bias, which led to a body-worn camera pilot program for DOJ special agents.

To view all of the data and additional analysis released today visit,
OpenJustice (https://openjustice.doj.ca.gov/arrests/offenses).

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Releases Firearms Sales Data On OpenJustice, Unprecedented Criminal Justice Open Data Initiative

October 12, 2016
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

Data Show Massive Growth in Gun Sales Since 2008, Increasing Geographic Concentration

SACRAMENTO - Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the unprecedented release of firearms sales data in California on OpenJustice, the first-of-its-kind open data initiative she launched last September. The new firearms data section of OpenJustice shows how firearms sales have changed over the last two decades and includes a county-by-county breakdown.  It also sheds light on what types of guns are purchased in California and how guns change hands.  The data, along with analysis and charts, is available at https://openjustice.doj.ca.gov/firearms/.

“The dramatic spike in gun sales over the last ten years reflects the continued need for smart and sensible gun safety laws,” said Attorney General Harris.  “Today's release is a continuation of my commitment to transparency and the implementation of informed data-driven public policy. This unprecedented release of firearms sales data will allow us to better understand trends and to keep our communities safe.”

The data show that gun transactions grew significantly – over 250% – from 2008 to 2013, then leveled out in 2014 and 2015.  In addition, the total number of guns in the state is quickly rising: total gun transactions includes both new guns sold as well as the transfer of used guns (e.g., sales between private parties); data for 2014 and 2015 show that about 75% of handguns sold were new, whereas in 2007, new handguns accounted for just over 60% of all sales.

The sales of firearms are increasingly concentrated, both geographically and in terms of firearms dealers.  Gun purchases have been increasing in every county, with a few counties—Sacramento, San Bernardino, Ventura, Riverside, Kern, and Orange counties—having particularly high growth rates. A small number of dealerships (5%) account for over half of total sales.  From 1996 to 2007, the number of gun dealerships dropped by almost two-thirds while gun sales stayed relatively flat. The dramatic growth in gun transactions from 2008 to 2015 was not accompanied by similar growth in the number of licensed gun dealerships, which only increased by 40%. 

While the so-called “gun show loophole” has received national attention, as buyers in other states are largely able to avoid background checks when purchasing a firearm at a gun show, California law requires background checks for sales at gun shows.  Nationally, it is estimated that 20-40% of gun sales occur at these types of shows while in California, fewer than 2% of gun transactions take place at gun shows.

Attorney General Kamala Harris announced the launch of OpenJustice in September 2015, making available unprecedented criminal justice data in an easy-to-use format, with a Dashboard that spotlights key criminal justice indicators with user-friendly visualization tools and an Open Data Portal that publishes raw data from the California Department of Justice’s statewide repository of criminal justice datasets. The Department plans to release additional firearms data before the end of this year.

Attorney General Harris’s commitment to reforming our criminal justice system and reducing disparities extends beyond the release of this unprecedented open data initiative.  Attorney General Harris has also convened a 21st Century Policing Working Group with law enforcement leaders from across the state, created the first-ever course for law enforcement infusing procedural justice tenets with information about confronting and overcoming implicit bias, a training which is now certified by the Commission on Peace Officers and Standards Training (POST), and directing a 90-day review of the California Department of Justice’s policies and practices around implicit bias, which led to a body-worn camera pilot program for DOJ special agents.

Attorney General Harris has also prioritized implementing effective gun safety measures in California. She and the Attorneys General of 12 other states and the District of Columbia sent a letter to the leaders of both houses of Congress in May 2016, urging them to immediately direct funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to research causes and prevention of gun-related injuries and deaths.  She also backed Senate Bill 1006, authored by Senator Lois Wolk, to urge the University of California Regents to establish a California Firearm Violence Research Center.  This center was established in June 2016 as part of the 2016-2017 state budget, and will be housed at the University of California, Davis.

Since November 2013, Attorney General Harris has brought the number of individuals in the Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS) database to a historic low of under 11,000, the lowest level it has been since 2008. If not for the work of Attorney General Harris and the California Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms’ Special Agents, the number of individuals in the system would be at 38,000. Attorney General Harris has effectively brought the number of prohibited individuals down by 29,000 prohibited individuals and increased the number of investigations per month by nearly 400 percent.

To view all the data released today, visit OpenJustice (https://openjustice.doj.ca.gov/firearms/).

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Applauds Passage of OpenJustice Data Act of 2016 in California State Legislature

August 30, 2016
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SACRAMENTO - Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today released a statement on the California State Legislature’s unanimous passage of Assembly Bill 2524, the OpenJustice Data Act of 2016. Assembly Bill 2524, introduced by Attorney General Harris and Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), will convert Crime in California and other annual reports published by the California Department of Justice into digital data sets which will be published on the Attorney General’s OpenJustice Web portal.

“Data and technology have the power to dramatically increase transparency and accountability in our criminal justice system,” said Attorney General Harris. “I applaud the California Legislature’s passage of this legislation, which will bring criminal justice data reporting into the 21st Century. I thank Assemblymember Irwin for standing with me to support the adoption of technology by law enforcement.” 

The OpenJustice Data Act builds on Attorney General Harris’s historic open data initiative, OpenJustice, to improve accountability and transparency in California’s criminal justice system.

The reports published in the OpenJustice Web portal will enhance transparency and accountability by highlighting statistical summaries including numbers of arrests, complaints against peace officers, hate crime offenses, and law enforcement officers killed or assaulted.  The OpenJustice Web portal will transform the way this information is presented to the public with interactive, accessible visualization tools, while making raw data available for public interest researchers. 

"Right now we are sitting on mountains of valuable criminal justice data that local law enforcement work hard to provide in the public interest.  We need to make sure that this information is available to the public and that we are using it effectively.  AB 2524 is a common-sense measure that will help bring California into the 21st century,” said Assemblymember Irwin.

Attorney General Harris first launched the OpenJustice initiative in 2015 as a mechanism for improving community trust in law enforcement, enhancing government accountability, and informing public policy. 

Earlier this year, the Attorney General announced the release of OpenJustice 1.1, which enriched the Web portal’s initial data sets with city, county, and state level context including population and demographic information, unemployment rates, poverty rates, and educational attainment levels.  In addition to providing greater transparency, this information enables policymakers to craft informed, data-driven public policy.

Attorney General Harris has announced that the Department of Justice will augment the OpenJustice Web portal with new criminal justice datasets created through recent legislation, including reports on racial and identity profiling (AB 953, Weber) and officer and civilian-involved uses of force (AB 71, Rodriguez). 

Attorney General Harris has also taken several steps to strengthen the trust between law enforcement and California communities.  She directed a 90-day Review of her Division of Law Enforcement’s policies on use of force and implicit bias, convened the state’s law enforcement leaders to share best practices through her 21st Century Policing Working Group, created the first POST-certified course on Procedural Justice and Implicit Bias in the U.S., and developed a pilot for body-worn cameras for DOJ Special Agents.

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Releases 2015 California Crime Reports

July 1, 2016
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

For the first time, Attorney General publishes the report’s raw data to encourage researchers to further analyze data to address issues in the criminal justice system

SACRAMENTO - Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the release of four annual crime reports, which provide law enforcement agencies and the public with statewide data on crime statistics in their communities.

The reports released include:

The Attorney General is also making raw data from the Crime in California report easily and widely available in an effort to promote transparency and encourage researchers, academics and interested parties to further analyze the data. The information can be accessed via the Attorney General’s OpenJustice website, which shares key findings in its data stories and publishes raw data on its data portal from the California Department of Justice’s statewide repository of criminal justice datasets.    

This March, Attorney General Harris and Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin introduced Assembly Bill 2524, which would convert Crime in California and other criminal justice annual reports published by the California Department of Justice into a set of key findings, data visualizations, and downloadable digital datasets that will be updated quarterly on the Attorney General’s OpenJustice Web portal. 

Crime in California 2015 presents statewide statistics for reported crimes, arrests, dispositions of adult felony arrests, adults placed on probation, full-time criminal justice personnel, citizens’ complaints against peace officers, domestic violence related calls for assistance, and law enforcement officers killed or assaulted. Highlights for 2015:

  • The violent & property crime rates per 100,000 population increased from 2014 to 2015; the 2015 rates are 2.9% and 0.4%  lower than 2010 (respectively)
  • From 2010 to 2015, the robbery and aggravated assault rates decreased 13.2% and 1.1%, respectively  
  • The arrest rate decreased by 4.5% from 2014 to 2015; a total of 1,158,812 arrests in the state in 2015; the lowest since 1969 (1,212,845 arrests in 2014) 
  • Misdemeanor Driving Under the Influence arrests decreased for the fifth year in a row
  • Adult felony arrest rates decreased by approximately 29% (predominantly burglary and drug offenses) and adult misdemeanor rates increased by 10% (also predominantly burglary and drug offenses) most likely due to the reclassification of prop 47 crimes
  • There was an 8.1% increase in all aggravated assaults and 15.7% increase in aggravated assaults with a firearm from 2014 to 2015
  • Assaults on peace officers increased by 10% from 2014 to 2015

Homicides in California 2015 contains information related to homicide, including demographic data on victims, persons arrested for homicide, persons sentenced to death, peace officers feloniously killed in the line of duty, and justifiable homicides. Highlights from 2015:

  • The homicide rate increased in 2015 (from 4.4 to 4.8 per 100,000); a total of 1,861 homicides in the state 
  • Over the past decade the homicide rate ranged from a high of 6.9 in 2006 to last year’s low of 4.4
    • In 2015, 82.8% of homicide victims were male and 17.2% were female
    • The largest proportion of victims has consistently been Hispanic
    • There were 163 justifiable homicides reported in 2015, with 130 committed by a peace officer and 33 committed by a private citizen
    • Firearms are used in over 70% of homicides in 2015; there was a 9.2% increase in the number of homicides with a firearm compared to 2014 

Hate Crime in California 2015 reports statistics on hate crimes that occurred in California during 2015. Highlights from 2015:

  • Hate crime events increased 10.4% from 758 in 2014 to 837 in 2015; the vast majority of this increase is attributed to an uptick in events involving religious bias
  • Hate crime events involving a religious bias increased 49.6% from 127 in 2014 to 190 in 2015
  • Hate crime events with a sexual orientation bias are the second most common type of hate crime over the past 10 years (2006 – 2015)
  • The total number of hate crime events has decreased 35.9% from 1,306 in 2006 to 837 in 2015
  • Anti-Islamic (Muslim) bias events increased from 18 in 2014 to 40 in 2015; anti-Jewish bias events rose from 80 in 2014 to 97 in 2015.
  • Hate crime events targeting Hispanics increased 35% from 60 in 2014 to 81 in 2015.
  • Anti-black motivation hate crimes continue to the most common hate crime, accounting for 31.9% (3,443) of all hate crime events since 2006.

Juvenile Justice in California 2015 provides insight into the juvenile justice process by reporting the number of arrests, referrals to probation departments, petitions filed, and dispositions for juveniles tried in juvenile and adult courts. Highlights from 2015:

  • Juvenile arrests decreased for the seventh year in a row and are at the lowest levels ever
  • There were 71,923 juvenile arrests reported by law enforcement agencies in 2015, down 17% from 2014
  • In 2015 more than half of the juvenile (58.2%) arrests were for a misdemeanor offense and nearly a third (29.7%) were arrested for a felony offense  
  • Among those arrested in 2015, 53% were Hispanic/Latino, 22% were white, and 19% were Black 

A complete copy of the reports can be found here: http://openjustice.doj.ca.gov/publications

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Introduces Legislation to Improve the Collection and Publication of Criminal Justice Data

March 21, 2016
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SACRAMENTO – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) today unveiled legislation to modernize California’s collection and publication of criminal justice data. The OpenJustice Data Act builds on Attorney General Harris’s historic open data initiative, OpenJustice, to improve accountability and transparency in California’s criminal justice system.

“Data and technology have the power to dramatically increase transparency and accountability in our criminal justice system,” said Attorney General Harris. “This legislation will bring criminal justice data reporting into the 21st Century. I thank Assemblymember Irwin for standing with me to support the adoption of technology by law enforcement.”

Assembly Bill 2524 will convert Crime in California and other annual reports published by the California Department of Justice into digital data sets that will be published on the Attorney General’s OpenJustice Web portal.  These reports provide statistical summaries including numbers of arrests, complaints against peace officers, hate crime offenses, and law enforcement officers killed or assaulted. The OpenJustice Web portal will transform the way this information is presented to the public with interactive, accessible visualization tools, while making raw data available for public interest researchers.

"Right now we are sitting on mountains of valuable criminal justice data that local law enforcement work hard to provide in the public interest.  We need to make sure that this information is available to the public and that we are using it effectively.  AB 2524 is a common-sense measure that will help bring California into the 21st century,” said Assemblymember Irwin.

Additionally, AB 2524 will bring the state’s data collection into the 21st century by requiring local law enforcement agencies to submit all currently required statistical reports digitally.  Despite the fact that electronic reporting provides for more accurate and efficient data submission, approximately 60% of local law enforcement agencies still submit required data to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) on paper.  The OpenJustice Data Act will direct all agencies to transition to digital reporting, which will improve the quality and completeness of data, allow for more frequent updates to data contained within the OpenJustice Web portal, and ensure a much more efficient use of taxpayer resources in the long-term.

“I look forward to working with Attorney General Harris and Assemblymember Irwin to further advance our commonly shared goal of strengthening the relationships between law enforcement and the communities in which we live and serve.  Law enforcement leaders across California stand ready to ensure that the modernization of data reporting is feasible for even the smallest of police departments.  The alchemizing of this data will serve to better inform Californians about the crime our officers encounter every day and the subsequent actions taken,” said Oxnard Police Chief Jeri Williams.

Attorney General Harris first launched the OpenJustice initiative in 2015 as a mechanism for improving community trust in law enforcement, enhancing government accountability, and informing public policy. 

Last month, the Attorney General announced the release of OpenJustice 1.1, which enriched the Web portal’s initial data sets with city, county, and state level context including population and demographic information, unemployment rates, poverty rates, and educational attainment levels.  In addition to providing greater transparency, this information enables policymakers to craft informed, data-driven public policy.

Attorney General Harris has announced that the Department of Justice will augment the OpenJustice Web portal with new criminal justice datasets created through recent legislation, including reports on racial and identity profiling (AB 953, Weber) and officer and civilian-involved uses of force (AB 71, Rodriguez). 

Attorney General Harris has also taken several steps to strengthen the trust between law enforcement and California communities.  She directed a 90-day Review of her Division of Law Enforcement’s policies on use of force and implicit bias, convened the state’s law enforcement leaders to share best practices through her 21st Century Policing Working Group, created the first POST-certified course on Procedural Justice and Implicit Bias in the U.S., and developed a pilot for body-worn cameras for DOJ Special Agents.

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Releases OpenJustice v1.1

February 17, 2016
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

LOS ANGELES - Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the release of OpenJustice v1.1, the next version of her criminal justice transparency initiative, which seeks to make public an unprecedented amount of data in easy-to-use and digestible ways so that we can hold ourselves accountable and improve public policy to make California safer. The OpenJustice v1.1 rollout includes new features focused on allowing Californians to better understand how the criminal justice system is working in their specific communities.

Now at a city, county, and state level, the OpenJustice Dashboard shows crime, clearance, and arrest rates, as well as arrest-related deaths, deaths in custody, and law enforcement officers killed or assaulted. Because public safety is also impacted by many societal factors outside of law enforcement, the Dashboard incorporates important contextual data such as population and demographic information, unemployment rates, poverty rates, and educational attainment levels. Through interactive maps, charts and tools, everyone – from communities to law enforcement to policymakers – will be able to identify where our system is doing well to promote public safety and equity in the justice system, and in what areas we must continue to improve.

“OpenJustice adds accountability and transparency to California’s criminal justice system – helping to rebuild the trust between law enforcement and the communities we are sworn to protect,” said Attorney General Harris. “This data helps clarify a simple truth: too many boys and young men of color are being arrested and killed by police. By releasing vast amounts of criminal justice data, OpenJustice v1.1 adds numbers and facts to the national debate on police-community relations. Law enforcement agencies across the nation should embrace data-driven policy changes to improve our criminal justice system and make our streets safer.”

In September 2015, Attorney General Harris launched OpenJustice by publishing three data sets at a statewide level, and committing to continue to release additional criminal justice data collected by the California Department of Justice. OpenJustice v1.1 delivers on that promise by releasing new data and at a more detailed level.

For each data set, anyone can use the Dashboard to look at overall trends, and also sort by race, gender, and age to better understand how different demographic groups are impacted by the justice system. The updated site also enables users to see the types of crimes (violent and property) and arrests (felonies and misdemeanors) across jurisdictions, compared to the California and national averages, and over time. In addition, the site continues to highlight the real danger that law enforcement personnel face everyday to keep our communities safe.

The OpenJustice initiative builds on Attorney General Kamala D. Harris’s leadership by deploying 21st century “Smart on Crime” approaches to improve public safety.  As California’s chief law enforcement officer, Attorney General Harris has worked to introduce new technology to the Department of Justice and law enforcement agencies across the state.  She has also championed the use of data to measure outcomes in public education and understand their impact on the criminal justice system.

In addition to OpenJustice, Attorney General Harris has also taken several steps to strengthen the trust between law enforcement and California communities. She directed a 90-day Review of her Division of Law Enforcement’s policies on use of force and implicit bias, convened the state’s law enforcement leaders to share best practices through her 21st Century Policing Working Group, created the first POST-certified course on Procedural Justice and Implicit Bias in the U.S., and developed a pilot program to test body-worn cameras within the Department of Justice.

The OpenJustice Dashboard will continue to spotlight metrics from across the justice system and a broad array of data sets will be released to foster accountability and trust. This tool will enable researchers, civic coders, journalists, and policymakers to help tackle seemingly intractable problems in the criminal justice system. 

To view all of the data released today, visit OpenJustice (http://openjustice.doj.ca.gov).

Photo Release: Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Convenes 21st Century Policing Working Group After First Year Anniversary of its Creation

February 9, 2016
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SACRAMENTO – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today convened the 21st Century Policing Working Group to mark the one-year anniversary of the group’s formation, report on accomplishments to date, and discuss future goals.

Attorney General Harris created the 21st Century Policing Working Group in January 2015 to improve peace officer training, promote data driven accountability, and build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

The Attorney General met with the group of law enforcement leaders ahead of the release of OpenJustice 1.1. On February 11, 2016, OpenJustice 1.1 will give the public access to a variety of new features, data and information on the state’s criminal justice system. The new data will include visual tools and interactive charts to allow users to compare and cross reference county and agency data sets against statewide averages, and local crime data. 

OpenJustice is a first-of-its-kind criminal justice open data initiative that releases unprecedented data while being interactive and easy to use. The tool consists of two components: a Dashboard that spotlights key criminal justice indicators with user-friendly visualization tools and an Open Data Portal that publishes raw data from the California Department of Justice’s statewide repository of criminal justice datasets.

OpenJustice embraces transparency in the criminal justice system to strengthen trust, enhance government accountability, and inform public policy. Recent events in California and across the nation have highlighted the need for an important conversation to take place between law enforcement & the communities we are sworn to protect.

The working group also discussed results of the Attorney General’s course on principled policing and implicit bias, which was offered for peace officers statewide in November, and developed a set of shared principles around body worn cameras.

Kamala Harris leads discussion with members of the 21st Century Policing Working Group

21st Century Policing Working Group roundtable

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, White House Announce Partnership on Criminal Justice Open Data

October 27, 2015
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced a new partnership between the California Department of Justice and the White House Police Data Initiative, following the recent launch of OpenJustice (openjustice.doj.ca.gov), a first-of-its-kind criminal justice open data initiative launched by the California Department of Justice. 

The White House Police Data Initiative announced the partnership through a blog post as President Barack Obama addressed attendees at the 122nd annual conference of the Internal Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). The blog post is available here.

The new collaborative effort will encourage law enforcement agencies across California to adopt open data policies and provide tools and resources to empower those agencies to better utilize their data to enhance public safety.

“Open data increases transparency and accountability in policing, which strengthens trust between law enforcement and the communities we are sworn to protect,” said Attorney General Harris.  “I thank the White House Police Data Initiative for their partnership, and I encourage law enforcement agencies around the country to modernize their data collection practices and to share this valuable information with their communities..”

The California Department of Justice’s new OpenJustice initiative, announced in September 2015, released unprecedented data in an interactive, easy-to-use format. The initiative consists of two components: a Justice Dashboard highlighting key criminal justice indicators with user-friendly visualization tools, and an Open Data Portal publishing criminal justice data sets from the California Department of Justice’s statewide repository.

Initial datasets published include (1) Law Enforcement Officers Killed or Assaulted in the Line of Duty; (2) Deaths in Custody, including arrest-related deaths; and (3) Arrests and Bookings.  For each metric, the Dashboard features interactive web tools that allow the public to explore these key criminal justice indicators over time and across jurisdictions. Additional datasets that touch on aspects of the criminal justice system and new functionality will be added to the site over the next several months.

The White House Police Data Initiative has partnered with community organizations, technologists, and police associations to encourage greater transparency in criminal justice and use data and technology in ways that build community trust and reduce unnecessary uses of force.  This new partnership with California marks the first state partnership with the White House Police Data Initiative.  

The California Department of Justice and the White House Police Data Initiative are offering technical assistance, tools, and resources to local law enforcement agencies interested in building greater community trust and pursuing more effective policing through technology and open data. Code for America and CI Technologies are working with the initiative to build an open source software tool to assist law enforcement agencies in reporting data and public and private-sector partners are developing cutting-edge mapping and visualizations to make the data accessible and easily understood.

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Launches First-of-its-Kind Criminal Justice Open Data Initiative

OpenJustice (https://openjustice.doj.ca.gov)
September 2, 2015
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

LOS ANGELES -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the launch of OpenJustice, a first-of-its-kind criminal justice open data initiative that will release unprecedented data while being interactive and easy to use. The tool consists of two components: a Dashboard that spotlights key criminal justice indicators with user-friendly visualization tools and an Open Data Portal that publishes raw data from the California Department of Justice’s statewide repository of criminal justice datasets.

The Attorney General was joined at the announcement by Congresswoman Karen Bass, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, and University of California Berkeley Professor Steven Raphael.

“Being “Smart on Crime” means measuring our effectiveness in the criminal justice system with data and metrics,” said Attorney General Harris. “This initiative puts forward a common set of facts, data and goals so that we can hold ourselves accountable and improve public safety. The California Department of Justice is proud to join with many in the law enforcement community to make our work more transparent.”

OpenJustice embraces transparency in the criminal justice system to strengthen trust, enhance government accountability, and inform public policy. Recent events in California and across the nation have highlighted the need for an important conversation to take place between law enforcement & the communities we are sworn to protect.

The Dashboard includes three important data sets that tell part of the story of the relationship between law enforcement and communities: (1) Law Enforcement Officers Killed or Assaulted in the Line of Duty; (2) Deaths in Custody, including arrest-related deaths; and (3) Arrests & Bookings.  For each metric, the Dashboard features interactive web tools that allow the public to explore these key criminal justice indicators over time and across jurisdictions. 

The Open Data Portal is an online repository of downloadable criminal justice data in raw form available to the public. This tool will enable researchers, civic coders, and journalists to help tackle seemingly intractable problems in the criminal justice system.  As part of the initiative, Attorney General Harris is expanding her work with law enforcement to improve reporting by eliminating unnecessary requirements and modernizing data reporting processes.

OpenJustice builds on Attorney General Kamala D. Harris’s leadership deploying 21st century “smart on crime” approaches to improve public safety.  As California’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer, Attorney General Harris has worked to embed new technology into the DNA of the Department of Justice and law enforcement agencies across the state.  This has involved cutting-edge SmartJustice tools including a web platform for law enforcement that integrates multiple state and local databases to provide aggregated criminal justice information, as well as a mobile portal so officers have access in the field at their fingertips. She has also championed using data to measure outcomes in public education and understand their connections to the criminal justice system.

Attorney General Harris has also taken several steps to strengthen the trust between law enforcement and California communities. She directed a 90-day Review of her Division of Law Enforcement’s policies on use of force and implicit bias, convened the state’s law enforcement leaders to share best practices through her 21st Century Policing Working Group, created the first POST-certified course on Procedural Justice and Implicit Bias in the U.S., and developed a pilot body-worn camera policy within the Department of Justice.

In the coming months, the Dashboard will expand to spotlight more metrics from across the justice system and a broad array of datasets will be released to foster accountability and trust.

Below are key finding from the Justice Dashboard:

Law Enforcement Officers Killed or Assaulted

  • Since 1980, there has been an average of approximately 10 law enforcement officer deaths reported per year; 180 deaths resulted from unlawful incidents and 150 were accidental.
  • In 2014, there were 14 deaths of law enforcement officers, which is an uptick from the previous 5-year average of approximately 8 deaths per year.
  • Since 1980, 1 in 10 officers on the street were assaulted yearly. In that period, there have been over 280,000 assaults against law enforcement officers reported, or about 8,000 per year.  There are approximately 77,000 sworn officers in California in recent years, which has grown from 40,000 in 1980.

Death in Custody

  • There were 6,837 deaths in custody reported between 2005 and 2014; an average of approximately 685 per year.
  • Approximately 61 percent of deaths resulted from natural causes. The next leading cause of death is homicides by law enforcement at 14 percent, followed by suicide at 10 percent
  • Over half of deaths in custody (~55%) were reported by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (“CDCR”) followed by county sheriffs (~23%) and local police (~15%).
  • Manner of death differed considerably across agency type:  Deaths reported by police were primarily homicides (nearly 70 percent), while sheriffs and CDCR reported a large proportion of deaths due to natural causes and suicide; 17% of deaths in jails were suicides.

Arrests & Bookings

  • Over the past 30 years reported property and violent crimes have dropped by half.
  • The arrest rate peaked in 1989; since then misdemeanor arrests rates have been falling steadily and felony arrests rates have dropped slightly.
  • Men are roughly 3.5 times more likely to be arrested than women.
  • There are large racial/ethnic disparities in arrest rates that hold across men and women. African Americans are the most likely to be arrested at any age, most notably between 18 and 40. Asians have the lowest arrest rates. 

To view all of the data released today, visit OpenJustice (http://openjustice.doj.ca.gov).

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris to Announce First-of-its-Kind Criminal Justice Open Data Initiative

September 1, 2015
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

LOS ANGELES - Attorney General Kamala D. Harris will hold a press conference at 11:30 a.m. to unveil a first-of-its-kind criminal justice open data initiative that will release unprecedented data while being interactive and easy to use. The new data-driven initiative embraces transparency in the criminal justice system to strengthen trust, enhance government accountability, and inform public policy.  

A livestream of the press conference will be available at https://oag.ca.gov. 

WHO:

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris
Congresswoman Karen Bass
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck
Steven Raphael, Professor of Public Policy at University of California, Berkeley 

WHEN:

Wednesday, September 2 at 11:30 a.m. 

WHERE:

California Attorney General’s Office
Ronald Reagan Building
300 S. Spring Street (between 3rd and 4th Streets)
Los Angeles, CA 90013 

NOTE:

This event is open to credentialed media only.