Data Drives Criminal Justice Improvements

In a panel discussion moderated by County Executive Jan Gardner, attendees to the MACo Summer Conference heard ways to improve criminal justice outcomes through use of data.

Earlier this summer, Governor Larry Hogan led Maryland in signing on to the White House Data-Driven Justice Initiative, a bipartisan coalition of sixty-seven city, county, and state governments who have committed to using data-driven strategies to divert low-level offenders with mental illness out of the criminal justice system. In this MACo session, attendees heard the advantages of the data-driven justice effort.

Kayvon Behroozian, ‎Policy Assistant at The White House, Office of National Drug Control Policy, and the Office of Social Innovation described the cost-savings that local governments nationwide are discovering through identifies “high-utilizers” of social services and providing them treatment that has lasting results.

V. Glenn Fueston, Jr, Executive Director, Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention described the need to share data across agencies in order to improve decision-making. He is looking at a federation structure that would enable counties to build their own data-sharing mechanisms.

Maryland Department of Human Resources Secretary Malhotra shares, “We are living in an era where data is king.”

Sam Malhotra, Secretary, Department of Human Resources spoke about making the jump from data to actionable intelligence, and the importance of scrubbing obsolete or inaccurate data before it is relied upon.

Robert Green, Director, Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation shared results of national data and local justice programs in Montgomery County. Green’s findings included:

  • Weekender drunk driving programs have little effect
  • Incarceration of drug offenders without also providing treatment leads to repeat offenses
  • Managing pre-trial offenders in the community is cost-effective for the tax payer
  • Those who earn GEDs while incarcerated are less likely to return to prison

For more information on these topics, contact Natasha Mehu at MACo.