Florida Criminal Justice Data Transparency Standard Operating Procedure
Recommended Procedures and Practices for Agencies Complying with the Data Reporting Requirements of Section 900.05, Florida Statutes
In 2018, the Florida legislature passed a Criminal Justice Data Transparency (CJDT) bill aimed at standardizing and centralizing case-level criminal justice data from agencies in all 67 counties, requiring criminal justice agencies to submit data to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Along with other responsibilities, FDLE was required to create a complex data portal available to the public. A “pilot initiative” was established in the Sixth Judicial Circuit, encompassing Pasco and Pinellas Counties. Measures for Justice was selected to facilitate the pilot project with its data expertise and employment of embedded data fellows. This Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) documents the lessons learned from the pilot initiative and offers recommendations on the steps all agencies required to report to FDLE can take to implement the mandate. Though some information is specific to Florida, this SOP can also serve as a roadmap to other states considering criminal justice data transparency legislation.
Focusing on uniformity via standardization and automation is essential to criminal justice data infrastructure and transparency.
Strong leadership, communication, and coordination with the central repository authority will dictate the pace of progress and success of a data project.
Encouraging data culture and deliberate use of data visualization will provide value to data users and ensure the continued evolution of data projects.