Announcing the NDSC Criminal Justice Data Initiative

The Neighborhood Data for Social Change (NDSC), a project of the USC Price Center for Social Innovation, is pleased to announce the NDSC Criminal Justice Data Initiative, a new one-year project that will collect, aggregate, and disseminate neighborhood level criminal justice data for select communities across Los Angeles County. This project is a partnership with Microsoft and the USC Safe Communities Institute.

The NDSC Criminal Justice Data Initiative will provide users with a detailed and nuanced understanding of key indicators to track criminal justice trends within specific Los Angeles neighborhoods. Further, the initiative will allow users to better understand how criminal justice data interacts with trends from other critical policy areas, including: homelessness, education, housing, jobs, and economic development, among others.

“It is critical that all community stakeholders have access to reliable, relevant criminal justice data to inform policymaking and facilitate constructive dialogue in our communities,” said Gary Painter, Director of the USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation. “We are excited to launch the NDSC Criminal Justice Data Initiative in partnership with Microsoft and the Safe Communities Institute and look forward to working with civic actors across Los Angeles County.”

For this one-year pilot, NDSC will work with local agencies to share a select number of datasets relevant to criminal justice in the Los Angeles region. The initiative will start with a selection of data focused on front-end criminal justice interactions, such as rates of arrest, citizen complaints, police officer turnover rate, school-based arrests, and police incidents of force, among others.

“Reliable criminal justice data is essential to supporting sustainable public safety strategies and policies in any community,” said Erroll Southers, Director of the Safe Communities Institute. “The Safe Communities Institute is proud to contribute to the NDSC Criminal Justice Data Initiative to increase transparency and public engagement around public safety efforts in the greater Los Angeles region.”

In addition to adding neighborhood-level criminal justice data to the platform, the initiative will host a series of community trainings and convenings, bringing together representatives from local law enforcement agencies, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and other civic actors, to provide important opportunities for dialogue and shared learning across agencies and within the community. Lastly, the initiative will produce a series of data stories designed to illuminate the public safety trends, challenges, and opportunities facing Los Angeles County communities and neighborhoods.

“Reform in the criminal justice system occurs when the community, government and trusted organizations work together and share their perspectives,” said Merisa Heu-Weller, Director, Criminal Justice Reform at Microsoft. “We are partnering with the Sol Price Center for Social Innovation at USC on the community discussions and trainings around how publicly available data and analytics tools can improve outcomes and inform a path forward on criminal justice reform in Los Angeles.”

The NDSC Criminal Justice Data Initiative will coordinate with the Urban Institute’s National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, which is also partnering with the Microsoft Cities Team on the project “Catalyzing Community Criminal Justice Reform with Data.” This project seeks to better understand the local criminal justice data and advocacy landscape and encourage more local data organizations to bring their talents to bear on these issues.

The initiative will hold its first convening in August 2019, with subsequent convenings in December 2019 and March 2020. Neighborhood-level criminal justice data will be available on the NDSC platform beginning in December 2019. To stay up to date on the NDSC Criminal Justice Data Initiative, follow us @NDSC_LA and la.myneighborhooddata.org.

About Neighborhood Data for Social Change

The Neighborhood Data for Social Change (NDSC) is a free, publicly available online resource for civic actors in Los Angeles County to learn about their neighborhoods. NDSC illuminates the trends, challenges, and opportunities facing Los Angeles County neighborhoods by curating and disseminating neighborhood-level (down to the census tract) data across ten different policy areas: health, environment, housing and real estate, transportation, food insecurity, social connectedness, demographics, education, employment and income, and public safety.

About the Safe Communities Institute

The Safe Communities Institute (SCI) at the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy engages in research, interdisciplinary education, and collaboration to advance sustainable public safety strategies, policies, and programs. The Institute’s mission is three-fold: reaching people with a new understanding of public safety that hinges on education, community engagement, awareness, and research; advancing violence prevention strategies, policies, and research; and contributing to global security in a time of increasing threats. SCI provides a 21st-century approach to public safety by adopting a multidisciplinary “whole-of-community” methodology, which informs SCI educational programs, research projects, and community engagement. Dr. Erroll G. Southers is the Director of the Safe Communities Institute and Homegrown Violent Extremism Studies at the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy, where he is also a Professor of the Practice in National & Homeland Security.