Lincoln County Commissioner Claire Hall announced her appointment to the newly formed steering committee to guide Justice Counts, the largest, most comprehensive effort to improve the availability and utility of criminal justice data to date.
Justice Counts, made possible by the support of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, is a national, consensus-building initiative designed to help policymakers make better decisions with criminal justice data that’s more timely, less disjointed, and as useful as possible.
“Our public health and labor agencies in Oregon act on timely data and track trends in real-time, yet criminal justice data reflects a reality that is months, if not years, old by the time it reaches us as decision-makers,” said Hall, who met with fellow committee members today for the first time. “There are just too many instances where we’re charting a course for our system while flying blind. I’m honored to take part in improving our data not only in Oregon, but across the country.”
The initiative is led by The Council of State Governments Justice Center and backed by 21 additional partners representing officials in every corner of our nation’s state, county, and municipal justice systems. The steering committee comprises active state and local officials—from law enforcement, to corrections, to legislatures, and beyond—who will help the initiative organize available data for each state and ultimately reach consensus about a baseline set of criminal justice metrics that can drive budget and policy decisions.
“Justice Counts has assembled an unprecedented coalition of state and local leaders to enhance policymakers’ decisions across our nation’s justice system,” said Georgia Supreme Court Justice Michael P. Boggs, who will chair the steering committee. “I’m proud to help mobilize policymakers and stakeholders from across the country to put these metrics to work, and to support the development of the tools they need to help them measure what matters.”
Justice Counts will embark on a scan of public, aggregate criminal justice data to provide policymakers in every state with timely information about their criminal justice systems, existing gaps in data collection, and opportunities to do better.