Collecting and Using Data for Prosecutorial Decisionmaking

Brief

Collecting and Using Data for Prosecutorial Decisionmaking

Findings from 2018 National Survey of State Prosecutors’ Offices

Abstract

This brief summarizes findings from a national survey of state prosecutors’ offices and offers insights for prosecutors, policymakers, and other stakeholders on how prosecutors collect and use data to manage their offices, understand trends, and evaluate their success. The survey shows that while many prosecutors are using data to inform critical operational and case decisions—and many more have an interest in building their capacity to do so—barriers such as concerns about data accuracy and lack of resources often stand in the way of widespread and systematic incorporation of data in prosecutorial decisionmaking. The brief also includes a tool to help prosecutors assess their offices’ current data capacity, and makes recommendations for those interested in expanding their collection and use of data.

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