DA Stat Frequently Asked Questions
What is DA Stat?
In February 2013, District Attorney George Gascón launched DA Stat, a data-based tool modeled after COMPSTAT, to inform operational decision making. Through DA Stat, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office (SFDA) examines criminal case processing in a comprehensive manner. During monthly internal review sessions, DA Stat provides managing attorneys and executive staff case processing data to assess prosecutorial decisions, workload, resource allocation, and outcomes.
In furtherance of DA Gascón’s commitment to accountability and transparency in the criminal justice system, SFDA has begun sharing SFDA metrics dating back to 2011 with the community we serve. The dashboards and underlying datasets are updated on a monthly basis. As we are able to automate the reporting of additional metrics, we will add new dashboards.
Why does the dashboard start in 2011?
The DA Stat dashboards are populated with data from our office’s case management system. When DA Gascón came into office in 2011, using data to make decisions was an immediate focus, and he advanced a major initiative to enhance data collection efforts in the office to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Through this effort, the office has significantly improved the quality and quantity of available data, and we now have reliable data going back to 2011. Unfortunately, data prior to that date is not comprehensive or reliable.
Can I obtain the raw data that populates the dashboards?
SFDA is working with the DataSF.org team to publish full, de-identified data sets as soon as possible.
I’m looking for statistics that aren’t in the dashboard, why?
We are publishing dashboards that can be populated through automated processes. While our team of in-house analysts is able to perform various analyses on an ad hoc basis to answer many different kinds of questions, not all of those analyses can yet be automated. That is, we are not yet able to run an automated program to populate a dashboard with reliable data for every metric. However, we are constantly working on automating more of the office’s analytics, and we will be adding new metrics and dashboards as they become available.
Why isn’t there demographic information in the dashboard?
Demographic data regarding defendants is provided to the District Attorney’s Office as a feed from the Court’s mainframe system, CMS, which does not record race/ethnicity accurately. Specifically, it has no category for LatinX, thus misrepresenting persons of LatinX heritage as only white or black and presenting an inaccurate picture of the San Francisco criminal justice system’s demographics. Our office is working with our criminal justice partners to get a feed of more accurate race/ethnicity data so that we can provide this data.
The San Francisco District Attorney’s office is committed to understanding and reducing racial disparities in the criminal justice system. To that end, in 2017, DA Gascón supported research by Professors Steven Raphael of UC Berkeley, and John MacDonald of the University of Pennsylvania, “An Analysis of Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Case Dispositions and Sentencing Outcomes for Criminal Cases Presented to and Processed by the Office of the San Francisco District Attorney.”
How often will the data be updated?
The DA Stat dashboards will be updated on a monthly basis. The date of the last data refresh is included on the upper right hand corner of each dashboard.
Is SFDA’s filing rate similar to other big city District Attorney’s Offices?
Every county is different, but primary factors that impact San Francisco’s filing rate include the fact that, unlike other counties, every arrest made by SFPD is forwarded to SFDA for a filing decision. In many counties, police make decisions about which arrests to present to the prosecutor’s office for a filing decision, whereas in San Francisco all arrests made are brought to prosecutors. Additionally, San Francisco has a lower dismissal rate than many other counties, meaning that fewer cases are charged and then later dropped.