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Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Releases OpenJustice v1.1

Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Contact: (415) 703-5837, 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).

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