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About

Data for this dashboard is available in three categories: key indicators, metrics, and data stories.

Key indicators contain data on our offices committment to:

  • divert low-risk individuals from entering the justice system
  • make smart, effective, and fair charging decisions
  • ensure victims and witnesses of crime are treated with fairness, dignity and respect.
  • safely reduce the jail population in Milwaukee County.

Metrics include data on key justice system decision points like charging and sentencing. Data stories involve a deep dive into a given aspect of the Milwaukee County justice system.

The data on the site will expand in the coming months based on identified next steps and external feedback. It will be updated monthly.

The website and visualizations are part of a larger project on Prosecutorial Performance Indicators, an office management, performance measurement and transparency and accountability tool that helps prosecutors’ offices measure their performance toward greater capacity and efficiency, community safety and well-being, and fairness and justice

To access the underlying data found on this site for each chart and see technical notes, click here.

Please fill out this form to provide feedback, request additional data or analysis, or ask questions about the site.

Limitations and Disclaimers

WCCA Disclaimer

This dashboard uses Wisconsin Court data made available through the WCCA REST Interface

The data or information provided is not the official records of the court. Data provided from WCCA Information may not reflect the most current disposition activity. Users should verify the data and information by consulting the official court record maintained by the court in question. The official custodian of all official circuit court records in Wisconsin is the clerk of circuit court or register in probate.

WCCA Data Update

The Wisconsin State Courts recently changed their policy that governs access to bulk court data and now charge Wisconsin's District Attorney offices for its use. We are actively working to turn this data back on to provide monthly updates for these reports.

This specifically affects our ability to provide more recent updates to the disposition and sentencing reports. We anticipate being able to resolve this problem before 11-1-2020.

Data on Adult Cases Only

This website includes cases that were handled in adult court, not in children's court. Adding juvenile data will later be included in this dashboard.

Data Availability

Our ability to populate metrics on certain key decision points is limited by the availability and quality of data. Take for instance arrest and sentence length data. Arrest data are collected by Milwaukee County law enforcement agencies and are not directly available to the Milwaukee District Attorney's Office. Information on a cases total sentence length exists in unstructured court record text and is currently difficult to extract in a reliable, automated way.

Categorization of Offenses at Different System Points

The classification of an offense can change as the case progresses. The data in this dashboard follows the classifications of a case through the system. For instance, a police officer can refer a case with felony charges that a district attorney then modifies and charges as a misdemeanor.

Cases Can Be Recategorized

A case can be recategorized in a variety of circumstances including when the data is updated or when a new charge is added or dropped.

Data Entry Issues

Data in this report is entered by DA staff and court clerks. It may contain errors. Any that are found will be fixed and updated in the next scheduled monthly update.

Acknowledgments

This site would not be possible without the following:

  • This project was created with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as part of the Safety and Justice Challenge, which seeks to reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails.
  • The Philadelphia District Attorney's Transparency Analytics Team and their public dashboard served as a major inspiration.
  • 18F, a digital service agency within the United States Government, provided the gatsby starter template this site is built on.