Multnomah County District Attorney Puts Results Online

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced that a suite of data dashboards featuring Prosecutorial Performance Indicators (PPIs) have been posted for public inspection. The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office (MCDA) is proud to publish these data dashboards during Black History Month given that ending racial and ethnic disparity in the criminal justice system is among the express objectives of these data. Click here to view the PPI data dashboards webpage. 

The data dashboards were developed in partnership with Prosecutorial Performance Indicators, Florida International University, Loyola University of Chicago, Portland State University, and Justice System Partners. This partnership is funded through the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge, which Multnomah County has been part of since the inception of this landmark initiative. 

PPIs measure performance towards three goals: Capacity & Efficiency, Community Safety & Well-being, and Fairness & Justice. MCDA has published ten PPI data dashboards based on 32 performance metrics. The data dashboards range from public records request response times to how MCDA prioritizes cases, how soon we connect with victims, how we treat defendants of different races and from different neighborhoods, and many other aspects of our work. 

“Black and brown people are most harmed and least helped by the criminal justice system, and a lack of data has been a significant barrier to making the system more equitable. With transparent data collection and analysis, we can start to pinpoint where the most persistent disparities happen, giving our communities an important tool to advocate for change. We commend DA Schmidt for taking this important first step.” Stated Shannon Wight, deputy director at Partnership for Safety and Justice, an Oregon-based public safety and criminal justice reform advocacy organization. 

Data transparency has been among DA Schmidt’s top priorities since taking office coupled with the belief that justice should not be measured in arrests, prison sentences, or fines. In fact, those measures set up the wrong incentives and reinforce punishment over accountability and healing. PPIs aim to provide new measures of prosecutorial success and ameliorate racial and ethnic disparities that can emerge from criminal prosecution. The PPI data dashboards represent a critical step forward in realizing the bridge between data and racial equity within the justice system. MCDA is one of just a handful of District Attorney’s offices in the country taking the initiative to lead the way in data transparency through PPIs.

“MCDA’s role in the justice system is downstream. Harms in our community come to our doorstep after they have occurred. Yet, prosecution strategy, authentic community partnerships, and adherence to data can contribute to preventing future harm, aiding the fight upstream,” DA Mike Schmidt stated. 

“In a time of backlogged courts, resulting in historic caseloads and barriers to investigation along with all of the other challenges brought on by the pandemic, data is more critical than ever, knowing a return to “normal” is off the table. This is a moment of reset.” DA Schmidt continued. 

Trends found in the PPI data dashboards are shown on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis, going back to 2018 and 2019. New data will be added regularly. Each data dashboard has a hover feature providing additional information. They can be filtered by case characteristics. To ensure each data dashboard is accessible, several feature Data Stories to further explain and contextualize the numbers. More data stories will be added in the coming months. MCDA welcomes feedback on how to make these data dashboards better and more accessible. 

Source: Multnomah County District Attorney

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