Who We Are / Our Story

Our Story

Measures for Justice was founded in 2011 on the back of founder and CEO Amy Bach’s book, Ordinary Injustice: How America Holds Court. After spending years in courtrooms across the country, one thing became clear to Amy: most people had no idea what was happening in their criminal justice system. There was little-to-no data. No transparency. And as a result, policymakers were flying blind and the public had no means of holding the system accountable. Enter Measures for Justice to solve these problems.


Measures for Justice (MFJ) was founded

An anonymous donor read Ordinary Injustice and presented Amy with seed money to start the organization to help the country:

a) be able to see trends and patterns that are otherwise invisible and
b) ground criminal justice policy in fact.


Wisconsin Pilot

MFJ was awarded a grant from the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. With the help of several measurement experts, we developed an initial set of measures to be piloted in Milwaukee County, and then we decided to cover the entire state. Based on the success of that pilot, MFJ received funding to measure more states. MFJ proved that comparative data can be acquired, cleaned, coded, and run through a series of performance measures to bring some long overdue transparency to the criminal justice system.


National Data Portal

Our public-facing, free Data Portal launched with six states’ worth of comparative performance measures that span the system from arrest to post-conviction. All data can be filtered by race/ethnicity, age, indigency, and sex.


“A Criminal Justice Revolution”

We helped inform a groundbreaking new data law in Florida that mandated nearly every county agency and office needed to collect the same data, in the same way, and to report those data to the same place.


Twenty States; 1200 Counties; 1/3 of the Country

We reached an incredible milestone: data from 20 states, making ours the largest public county-level data repository in the country.



We launched our first Commons data platform with the Yolo D.A.’s office in California. The platform allows the public, police, prosecutors, courts to work together to make criminal justice performance data available and shared policy goals public.


Policing Measures

We continue to refine a national set of police measures with input from community leaders and police departments and begin to pilot these measures with the West Sacramento Police Department in California and the Rochester Police Department in New York.