OpenJustice: A Transparency Initiative Led by the California Department of Justice

OpenJustice, which launched this year has several data sets already available on arrest rates, deaths in custody and law enforcement officers killed/assaulted in the line of duty.

OpenJustice is a transparency initiative led by the California Department of Justice that publishes criminal justice data so we can understand how we are doing, hold ourselves accountable, and improve public policy to make California safer.

Being “Smart on Crime” means measuring our effectiveness in the criminal justice system with data and metrics. OpenJustice is a tool that embraces transparency and data in the criminal justice system to strengthen public trust, enhance government accountability, and inform public policy. 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.

It’s refreshing to see a state’s justice department share its data with the public in a meaningful way.

OpenJustice is a data-driven initiative that embraces transparency to strengthen trust, enhance government accountability, and improve public policy in the criminal justice system. Recent events in California and across the nation have highlighted the need for an important conversation between law enforcement and the communities we are sworn to protect. It is important that part of it be in a universal language — numbers.

OpenJustice advances Attorney General Kamala D. Harris’s “Smart on Crime” vision by leveraging statistical data maintained by the California Department of Justice (CA DOJ) and other publicly available datasets. OpenJustice includes three major components:

  1. A Justice Dashboard that spotlights key criminal justice indicators with in-depth analysis, integration of other publicly available datasets, and user-friendly interactive visualization tools;
  2. An Open Data Portal that publishes data from CA DOJ’s statewide repository of criminal justice datasets in an open-source and downloadable form; and
  3. An ongoing effort to improve criminal justice reporting in California.

OpenJustice underscores the CA DOJ’s commitment to improving public safety and increasing transparency through innovation; it represents one of the largest open government criminal justice data initiatives of any state in the U.S.

In the coming months, OpenJustice will expand to include more dashboard metrics across the justice system and a broader array of datasets and take steps to improve criminal justice reporting in California. Building safer communities requires trust and data-driven criminal justice policy. This starts with transparency.

To learn more about this initiative, visit http://openjustice.doj.ca.gov/