Data Dashboards for Prosecutors: How PCMS Can Help
An Introduction to Data Dashboards
In recent years, prosecutors have begun to re-think how they organize their data, and, particularly, how they share this information with the public. The result? Data dashboards.
Among recent political tensions and current events, public trust in law enforcement and the judiciary process is at an all-time low.1
In response, prosecutor offices across the United States are beginning to roll out public-facing prosecutorial dashboards2. The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys explains that these dashboards are “a useful transparency and accountability tool that can help prosecutors’ offices communicate information about their activities and outcomes with their communities.3”
These data dashboards are particularly needed considering the recent boom in data.4 As a result, this boom has translated, too, into an uptick in data collection and analysis—hence, the prosecutorial dashboard. These dashboards can be a tool to analyze innumerable variations of information and intersections, such as race, gender, and beyond.
Desired Outcomes for Data Dashboards
Prosecutors are embracing dashboards for a variety of purposes. These dashboards are designed to build public trust, by allowing the public to monitor prosecution and data trends in real time. Additionally, community stakeholders can use these data dashboards to influence public policy.3
Alongside public trust, prosecutors can better communicate information to the public through streamlined data. With easier, simplified access to data, prosecutors can present transparent information to their local communities.
Prosecutors can benefit from their own data by using it to fuel their decision-making within both cases and operations. This can help prosecutors prioritize cases and resources within their day-to-day work and their work at large.
Preparing for Data Dashboards
While many prosecutors are interested in implementing prosecutorial data dashboards, there’s quite a large technology gap for many existing prosecutors. Many prosecutors, alongside law enforcement agencies, are still transporting evidence and case files back and forth physically. Typically, these documents are stored in banker boxes, or on DVDs, CDs, or USB Drives.
That being said, many prosecutors aren’t using updated, and/or digital, prosecutor case management systems (PCMS) that already streamline and aggregate their data. Besides being antiquated and frustrating, research shows the lack of updated tech and PCMS can potentially be harmful since it increases the possibility of human error.5 This is often due to the large number of cases prosecutors are juggling. These errors can lead to unfair convictions, sentencing, and/or misplaced/lost evidence, among other problems.
By selecting a future-forward, modern PCMS, you can prepare your office with the tools to analyze your data in a streamlined, concise manner. CivicCase, CivicEye’s case management solution for prosecutors, allows users to seamlessly manage their cases from start to finish. The platform creates a paperless environment for prosecutors, and users can manage invoices, create digital forms, and distribute tasks through unique login portals, among other features.
Not only does updated PCMS save prosecutors time, but it also helps them streamline their workflows and better track their growing caseloads.
PCMS: Tools for Data Dashboards Prep
Now, let’s talk about the ways that PCMS can help prepare offices for prosecutorial data dashboard implementation.
Digital prosecutor case management systems can help prepare prosecutors for the implementation of a public-facing data dashboard by providing the following benefits:
- Improved Data Management: The use of a digital case management system can help streamline the collection and organization of data, making it easier to extract and use the relevant information for public-facing dashboards. Without an updated, pre-existing collection of data, prosecutors are not only unaccustomed to analyzing data trends, but they’re also unfamiliar with managing their information and cases digitally.
- Data Accuracy: As noted above, most prosecutorial error is accidental, not from misconduct.5 A PCMS’s automated processes can help ensure that data is entered consistently and accurately, reducing the likelihood of errors and inconsistencies in the data that would be displayed on a public-facing dashboard.
- Better Data Visualization: Digital prosecutor case management systems often come with built-in reporting and data visualization capabilities that can be used to create custom dashboards that are easy to understand and engaging for the public. These visualizations can help lead the way for future public-facing dashboards.
- Better Data Accessibility: The use of a digital case management system can make it easier for prosecutors to access the data they need to make informed decisions, which can help improve the accuracy and speed of decision-making processes.
The use of a digital prosecutor case management system can help prosecutors prepare for the implementation of a public-facing data dashboard by providing better data management, accuracy, visualization, transparency, and accessibility.
By implementing a modern PCMS, prosecutors can prepare their offices for data dashboards and streamline their workflows, among other benefits.
GET IN TOUCH
To learn more about CivicCase, CivicEye’s prosecutor case management solution, click here to schedule a demo today.
STAY IN THE LOOP
- Jones, J. M. (2022, September 29). Supreme Court Trust, Job Approval at Historical Lows. Gallup. Retrieved February 16, 2023, from https://news.gallup.com/poll/402044/supreme-court-trust-job-approval-historical-lows.aspx/de-escalation-use-of-force
- University of Denver (2022, September 12). Colorado District Attorneys (DA) Launch Data Dashboards. Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab. Retrieved February 16, 2023, from https://coloradolab.org/blog-2022-09-12-colorado-district-attorneys-launch-data-dashboards/
- (n.d.). National Prosecutorial Dashboards: Lessons Learned, Themes, and Categories for Consideration. Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. Retrieved February 16, 2023, from https://www.apainc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/FINAL-National-Prosecutorial-Dashboards-Advisory-Group-Lessons-Learned-and-Categories-for-Consideration-Logos-separate-page-1.pdf
- Taylor, P. (2022, September 8). Volume of data/information created, captured, copied, and consumed worldwide from 2010 to 2020, with forecasts from 2021 to 2025. Statista. Retrieved February 16, 2023, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/871513/worldwide-data-created/
- Gershowitz, A. M., & Killinger, L. R. (2011). The State (Never) Rests: How Excessive Prosecutorial Caseloads Harm Criminal Defendants. Northwestern University Law Review, 105(1), 261-301. https://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1184&context=nulr