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

Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Contact: (415) 703-5837, 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.

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