Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $662,768)
Proposal Abstract for North Carolina’s Justice Counts Implementation
Through the Bureau of Justice Assistance Justice Counts grant, the Division of Adult Correction (DAC) within the NC Department of Public Safety, plans to serve as the state’s lead agency in adopting a core set of criminal justice metrics as part of the Justice Counts initiative. DAC will coordinate with other state agencies in collecting, analyzing, and sharing of specified data so policymakers, stakeholders and the public have more access to criminal justice data to make better policy and budgetary decisions.
DAC, and its Administrative Analysis Unit (AAU), is considered a premier adult correction agency in collecting and reporting data. It is committed to facilitating research increasing the ability to inform criminal justice policy, practice, and contributing to broader knowledge in academia. The proposed project will include a project lead to work closely with the AAU and other technical assistance provided through the initiative to improve its own data processes and help initiate a more coordinated and far-reaching data sharing effort.
By educating law enforcement, the courts, county jail administrators and other criminal justice stakeholders about the importance of this initiative, DAC will help foster the creation of a roadmap for instilling buy-in and support in implementing a sustainable workplan and timeline for ongoing participation in the initiative. DAC has been accepted as an Alpha Partner for the initiative and is participating in meetings and workshops to be one of the first states to have its data published on the Justice Counts portal.
DAC is requesting priority consideration for its submission as it will promote racial equity; the removal of accessibility barriers; and opportunity for communities that have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by inequality. The data provided to Justice Counts will also aid in recommendations outlined in the state’s Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice (TREC). The TREC recommendations include the following: revising use of force policies; improving law enforcement accountability and culture; recruiting and retaining a racially equitable work force; amending incarceration facilities’ practices; addressing prison discipline; among others.
The criminal justice system is made up of many moving parts and interconnected actors. Much of the data necessary to capture what happens at the critical decision points during the criminal justice process is lacking. Data is key to truly seeing the outcomes of decisions made by policymakers. The data should be accessible to decision makers, those charged with oversight, and the public.