California has long been at the forefront of criminal justice change and innovation. Over the last decade, California has passed a series of laws designed to reduce the number of people under correctional supervision by reclassifying a range of offenses to be eligible for less serious criminal penalties. At the same time, California has moved to increase transparency in its criminal justice system, launching the OpenJustice web portal in 2015 and passing the Open Justice Data Act in 2016.
It is in this spirit that Measures for Justice began working in the state, in November of 2017, collecting criminal justice data from all 58 counties. The goal is to be able to return to California cleaned data sets that can speak to how well reforms have been working and that can gauge, in general, where success stories are being written for replication elsewhere.
Outreach initiated in 43 / 58 Counties
Data received from agencies in 22 / 58 Counties
California's criminal justice system is decentralized across the state's 58 counties. There is no one central repository for county-level data or single body that provides oversight of all criminal justice data collection. In addition, while California statutes explicitly allow Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) to be shared with "bona fide research organizations," California Rules of Court are more ambiguous regarding the sharing of criminal court records. Taken together, data collection in this state is a challenge.
As we collect data from agencies across the state, we will begin the process of cleaning and coding the data to prepare it for our data portal.Learn more about how Measures for Justice handles data
Amanda obtained a Dual Bachelor’s Degree from San Francisco State University in International Relations and Criminal Justice.
During her undergraduate career, she worked/interned at the San Francisco District Attorney’s office, Child Assault Unit, and San Francisco Mayor’s office as the Legislative Aide Intern. After which, she worked for the Department of Homeland Security.
Amanda later went on to obtain a Master’s Degree in Criminology at the University of California, Irvine.
Most recently Amanda worked at a criminal defense law firm in the Bay Area, where she managed case files and oversaw all court proceedings.
Amanda is a California native.
Based in Seattle, Lauren manages MFJ's Outreach in the western states. Since joining MFJ in 2015, she has traveled to every county in Washington and Arizona, and currently leads MFJ's California Data Outreach team, working closely with Rochester staff to ensure knowledge from the field is incorporated into MFJ's work. Lauren's approach to Outreach is heavily informed by local criminal justice experience as a Research Attorney for Douglas County District Court in her hometown of Lawrence, KS. She holds a Juris Doctor (JD) and Bachelors of Genetics (BS) from the University of Kansas. When home from the road, Lauren enjoys exploring Washington with her enormous dog and practices the martial art of capoeira in the Capoeira Angola Palmares lineage.
Steve ‘Spike’ Spiker joined Measures for Justice in 2018. As Data Evangelist he will be supporting the outreach teams, developing a new client portal and working on standards and vendor relationships.
Spike has extensive multidisciplinary research experience, leading dozens of applied social research projects in his term as Director of Research with Oakland’s Urban Strategies Council. He speaks nationally on data informed decision making, open data and the communication of data to diverse audiences.
Spike has led crime analysis projects, evaluated probation agency programs and supported community reentry networks and reinvestment efforts. He is proficient in advanced computer mapping and data analysis platforms as well as data visualization. He has managed and mentored research and tech teams and before emigrating to the USA he worked in spatial epidemiology.
Spike received his Masters of Geographic Information Science from Curtin University in Western Australia. He resides in the Oakland side of the San Francisco Bay Area.
To assist its efforts in California and ensure that they are responsive to local issues, MFJ has formed an Advisory Council comprised of respected stakeholders from and experts on the California criminal justice system (judiciary, law enforcement, public defender, prosecution, administrative offices of the courts, academics, etc.).
The Council will support MFJ’s California work by: helping with outreach out to data owners; sharing key thoughts and concerns regarding the data and Measures; speaking on behalf of the constituencies it represents and; serving as a liaison, answering questions others may have about Measures for Justice.