Justice Dashboard Overview
The Justice Dashboard is a tool for assessing the City & County of San Francisco's progress toward reducing racial disparities in the criminal justice system. It provides information regarding criminal justice outcomes to improve San Francisco's ability to make data-driven sentencing and supervision policies.
The Justice Dashboard measures subsequent contact rates at the point of arrest, arraignment, and conviction (three years post-conviction) for all adults convicted of a felony or misdemeanor and sentenced to county jail or local supervision in San Francisco. This data sharing and visualization project was developed by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón through the San Francisco Sentencing Commision in collaboration with the Sheriff's Department and the California Policy Lab. The Justice Dashboard was created in part with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as a part of the Safety and Justice Challenge, which seeks to reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails.
Throughout his tenure as District Attorney of San Francisco, George Gascón has embraced data, technology, and research with the belief that these tools can reduce both incarceration and racial disparities, as well as identify effective interventions for individuals involved in the system and for public safety more broadly. Tools like DA Stat and the Justice Dashboard enhance our ability to ensure safer communities and advance the national dialogue on best practices for local justice systems. For the first time in San Francisco, the Justice Dashboard provides decisionmakers with accurate recidivism statistics that can drive policies that meaningfully reduce reliance on jail, and reduce crime and victimization.
Access Justice Dashboard navigation guidance and definitions here.
Measuring for Success
The Justice Dashboard reviews subsequent criminal justice contact at three distinct decision-making points for three years post-conviction: arrest, arraignment, and conviction. By measuring subsequent criminal justice contacts in this way, the Dashboard provides an expansive view of how the local criminal justice system interacts with individuals in San Francisco that goes beyond more limited definitions of recidivism. Subsequent contact rates are measured for anyone over the age of 18 convicted of a felony or misdemeanor and sentenced locally in calendar years 2013, 2014, and 2015 in San Francisco. Additional cohorts will be added each year. Due to data unavailability, only contacts within San Francisco are included, and the Dashboard excludes individuals sentenced to state prison.
Recidivism is a familiar measure of a correctional system’s performance, but it is not the only metric worth evaluating. Using recidivism as the sole measure focuses the conversation on negative outcomes instead of positive ones. In its next phase, the Justice Dashboard will incorporate a desistance framework, which views reduction in criminal activity as a complex process that often requires significant time for individuals, and systems, to change. Unlike recidivism, which is a binary measure of success or failure, desistance allows for degrees of success. To foster the shift to a desistance framework, the Sentencing Commission will also explore the extent to which positive outcomes external to the justice system can be measured (for example, social integration, economic security, secure housing, and improved health).