In homicide cases for the years 2018 to 2019, it took the local criminal justice system an average of 506 days to get to disposition, compared to 567 days for 2014 to 2017.
How do we know this? The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office launched a web tool for citizens to survey the current state of crime and criminal cases in the city on Thursday.
The website, called the District Attorney’s Office (DAO) Dashboard, allows users to see data about incidents, arrests, charges and outcomes of cases. For some information, such as on the incidents page, the department refers the user to OpenDataPhilly for more details.
“The DAO Dashboard will offer data and statistics as part of our effort to replace fear-driven fictional narratives about crime and underserved communities with facts,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said in a statement.
“Not only will the DAO Dashboard empower the public to hold the criminal justice system accountable, and to hold me accountable, it will allow the District Attorney’s Office to track its work and make adjustments to policies and procedures as needed in order to further our goals of ending mass incarceration and supervision while keeping our City safe,” he added.
The dashboard was created over the course of 2019 by the District Attorney’s Transparency Analytics (DATA) Lab with help from other prosecutors’ offices, data experts and academics, according to a release. The data available will update daily, and is sourced from the Philadelphia Police Department, other law enforcement agencies and courts along with the DAO, the DA’s office said.
Data in the portal will be updated daily. Folks interested in getting additional or refined data and analysis may send requests to the DATA Lab by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
An important note from Billy Penn is that, as in any case when data is involved, “there’s room for error”:
“The data that we have is not perfect,” Assistant District Attorney Michael Hollander told the news outlet. “The people who enter the data are not perfect.”