Guidance and Toolkits

Best Practices

Resources for making better data culture
and infrastructure a reality.


Tools for Data Standards

Recommendations on the key data elements agencies should collect to ensure they are able to look at and assess patterns across multiple decision points.

Prosecutor Data Elements

Public Defender Data Elements

Court Data Elements

Data Entry Best Practices

Tools for Legislation

Legislation and executive mandates are important tools for helping to standardize how and what data are collected statewide.

Model Legislation

State Data Repository Best Practices

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We’ve been making criminal justice data available for over 10 years now, and we’ve learned a lot along the way. Transparency alone isn’t enough. Data must be accessible and easy to understand, like a treasure map anyone can follow.


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Signs of a Good Data Culture

We have put together fourteen hallmarks of good data culture that can be used to guide resourcing as you do this work.


Organization uses data analysis to steer operational decisions; it uses data not just for reporting requirements, but as evidence when making the case for operational strategies.


Organization finds ways to incentivize better and more consistent data entry.


Organization implements innovative workarounds for legacy technologies that can’t be immediately replaced.


Organization engages in long-term technology planning and replacement of legacy technologies.


Organization uses advanced data analysis tools.


Data analysts are consulted about operational direction and/or are present at higher management levels.


Organization makes data analyses widely available to all staff. Staff makes use of data analyses.


Organization is able to judge accurately the quality of new technical hires.


Processes are in place to measure data consistency. Someone is responsible for consistency within the organization.


Organization finds ways to automate manual tasks.


Organization leaders talk about data and understand its usefulness, including discussing/assessing performance with their staff using data.


Organization produces data visualizations.


Organization produces segmented data analyses.


Organization makes available well-defined training for use of tech systems.