NY's Monroe County Launches Free Criminal Justice Platform

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Monroe County, New York, has launched a new data tool that tracks data related to criminal justice for the public's perusal, according to a Wednesday announcement by the county district attorney's office, the nonprofit Measures for Justice and a community advisory board.

Monroe County, which includes the city of Rochester, will offer the data dashboard Commons free to the public. The software, originated by Measures for Justice, tracks data such as the number of cases flowing through the district attorney's office, emerging trends across different demographic breakdowns like race and sex, and progress goals set by community representatives.

"I am proud to partner with Measures for Justice to make our data available and open to the public," said Sandra Doorley, Monroe County District Attorney, in a statement Wednesday. "Presenting Commons to the community is an important step toward promoting data transparency. The Monroe County District Attorney's Office Commons dashboard collects our internal criminal justice data and displays it in a user-friendly method for anyone to review."

Measures for Justice, which is based in Rochester, said that it worked alongside a community advisory board representing the public in developing a dashboard specifically customized for Monroe County.

"The criminal justice system must be transparent and accountable to the community it serves," said Irshad Altheimer, a professor of criminal justice at the Rochester Institute of Technology and a member of the Monroe County community advisory board. "These data portals will put criminal justice data in the hands of the people to help reshape how the system serves us."

Another member of the committee, Rashid Muhammad of Volunteer Legal Services of Monroe County, said the group is committed to working closely with the district attorney's office on the Commons project. "We are concerned citizens and everyday leaders who are committed to ensuring that the dashboards are accurate, relevant and customized to meet the needs of our county," he said.

The nonprofit previously implemented the Commons platform in Yolo County, California, and is currently working towards launching new dashboards in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana; Jackson County, Kansas; and West Sacramento, California.

"Commons puts data directly into the hands of the leaders who can make change, bringing transparency and accountability to the criminal justice system," said Measures for Justice CEO and founder Amy Bach. "This is an opportunity to build trust and accountability for all communities."

Founded in 2011, Measures for Justice works with government bodies to create data portals, providing national performance measurements for nearly half the country.

The Monroe County court system has been under scrutiny this year for alleged internal abuses: A longtime employee accused former Commercial Division Justice Matthew Rosenbaum of sexual assault and further alleged officials of a cover-up. A U.S. magistrate judge in May ruled that the state court system must face the conspiracy claims.

--Editing by Andrew Cohen.

For a reprint of this article, please contact reprints@law360.com.



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