Measures for Justice in
California

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.

Superior Court Judge, Ret., Contra Costa County, CA
To address the challenges our criminal justice system is facing and identify knowledge and evidence-based best practices, we need data from all criminal justice stakeholders, at the county levels. I firmly believe in the mission, goal, and method of Measures for Justice and I welcome the transparency it brings to our criminal justice system!
- Harlan G. Grossman
Superior Court Judge, Ret., Contra Costa County, CA

Current status of California Data Collection

Outreach initiated in 43 / 58 Counties

Data received from agencies in 22 / 58 Counties

County where outreach has begun
County with county or city agency sharing data

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

The latest news about Measures for Justice in California

Criminal justice reform requires public access to court data
Oct 04, 2018 | California

Criminal justice reform requires public access to court data

I served as a judge in Contra Costa County for 21 years, assigned primarily to criminal matters. I considered myself well-versed in criminal justice. Then, in 2012, one week before I retired, I attended a panel at Berkeley Law on race and mass incarceration. I heard this: While only 6 percent of California’s population is black, almost 30 percent of those incarcerated in California’s prisons and jails are black. I was stunned. I knew I was trying to do the right thing – and I had faith that my fellow judges did as well, and yet there were the numbers, which were indisputable.
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Exploring New Ways To Measure A DA’s Job Performance
Jun 11, 2018 | San Diego, CA

Exploring New Ways To Measure A DA’s Job Performance

The first time after Miriam Krinsky prosecuted a criminal in federal court, she was brought to tears. She remembers returning home and sobbing when her husband asked how the case went. "He said, ‘I’m so sorry. You can’t win every case. You gave it your all,'" Krinsky said on Skype. "And I said, ‘You don’t understand … We convicted.’"
Read More

Resources for Agencies

California Outreach Team

    Mikaela Rabinowitz
    Mikaela Rabinowitz
    California State Director, MFJ
    Lenene Williams
    Lenene Williams
    Data Outreach Associate, MFJ
    Amanda Valtierra
    Amanda Valtierra
    Data Outreach Associate, MFJ
    Lauren McQueen Pearce
    Lauren McQueen Pearce
    Data Outreach Manager, MFJ
    Steve Spiker
    Steve Spiker
    Data Evangelist, MFJ

California Advisory Council

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.

  • Jim Bueermann
    President, Police Foundation
  • Justin Erlich
    Vice President of Strategy, Policy & Legal at Voyage
  • Harlan G. Grossman
    Judge, Ret., Contra Costa County Superior Court
  • Emily Putnam-Hornstein
    Director, Children’s Data Network & Associate Professor, USC School of Social Work
  • Stephanie L. James
    Chief, San Joaquin County Probation
  • Tracy Macuga
    Chief Defender Santa Barbara County Public Defenders Office
  • James P. Mayer
    President and CEO, California Forward
  • Lenny Mendonca
    Director Emeritus, McKinsey & Company
  • Kevin O’Connell
    Owner, O’Connell Research, Inc
  • Steve Raphael
    Professor of Public Policy, UC Berkeley
  • Bryan L. Sykes
    Assistant Professor, Criminology, Law & Society, UCI School of Social Ecology

MFJ California Data Collection Sponsors

View all of our sponsors