Measures for Justice Releases Data from Arizona Showing Disparities Among Counties

Press Release

ROCHESTER, NY – February 11, 2020 — Measures for Justice (MFJ)

Today, Measures for Justice released criminal justice data on Arizona that reveal notable differences between how counties across the state handle similar cases and defendants. The data address public safety, fiscal responsibility, and fairness, and can be filtered by race/ethnicity, sex, age, offense severity, offense type, court type, and domestic abuse. They are available for free through a public Data Portal.

In Arizona, the data shine a light on disparities among counties where data was collected. From a higher percentage of cases filed in court resulting in dismissal in Santa Cruz vs. Graham county to a higher rate at which defendants of color had their misdemeanor cases resolved within 90 days than white defendants in Coconino County -- these data can help state and local officials make real progress or change by illuminating what’s happening in their counties and how it directly compares to other counties within and across states.

“Public data are critically important to any and all efforts to improve our justice system,” said Amy Bach, Founder and Executive Director of Measures for Justice. “Today’s data release brings Arizona one step closer to painting a full picture of its criminal justice system, its gaps and its opportunities.”

This effort is part of Measures for Justice’s bigger project to make good criminal justice data available and actionable to spur reform. It also comes at a time when Arizona is deeply engaged with criminal justice reform and offers an objective source of information about the state’s criminal justice system and process. In addition, this data release underscores the need for more data and better data standardization to ensure an accurate understanding of Arizona’s criminal justice system.

“Arizona has a long way to go in making our criminal justice system one that provides pathways to second chances. In order to do so, we must make it easier for our policymakers to see the effects our laws have on recidivism, crime, and safety,” said Stephen Shadegg, State Director of Americans for Prosperity - Arizona. “That’s why it’s so vitally important that we make criminal justice data across our counties uniform and readily available.”

This data release demonstrates the power and utility of quality data for making informed decisions about where and what reforms are needed.

About Measures for Justice: Since 2011, Measures for Justice (MFJ) has been on a mission to make good criminal justice data available and actionable to spur reform. MFJ does this by collecting and releasing performance data from counties; working to standardize and improve criminal justice data policies; and delivering tools and services to ensure people can use the data to best effect.