Pennsylvania To Partner In A New Data Driven Criminal Justice Project | Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC

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Pennsylvania To Partner In A New Data Driven Criminal Justice Project

Just over a year after the White House launched the Police Data Initiative, a program aimed to help police departments share data on criminal patterns across the country, the White House announced a new data-driven program last month, the Data Driven Justice Initiative. Like its predecessor, the Data Driven Justice Initiative aims to help police departments share key information using large amounts of data. While the Police Initiative got off to a slow start, the new initiative already boasts 67 partners including law enforcement programs in Pennsylvania. Will the new Data Driven Justice Initiative be met with more success than its predecessor?

At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC, we’re encouraged by programs aimed at fewer wait times in jail, lower rates of incarceration, and reduced incarceration times for non-violent offenders. While the success of the Data Driven Justice Initiative is yet to be determined, our experienced Pittsburgh criminal defense attorneys are optimistic that the initiative will have a positive effect on the Pennsylvania criminal justice system.

5 Ways the Data Driven Justice Initiative Helps Pennsylvania

By adopting a data-driven approach, city, county, and state law enforcement programs help to improve the nation’s criminal justice system in five key ways:

  1. Fewer incarcerations—Data shared across law enforcement programs and with healthcare providers can help identify individuals who are suffering from mental illness and re-direct them to emergency rooms rather than to jails.

  2. Reduced incarceration time—Historical data can be used to predict a person’s risk of re-offending; this data can be used to reduce an individual’s sentence rather than lengthen it.

  3. Smarter bail calculations—Data can reveal whether a person has a low or high risk of flight. If a person is calculated to have a low flight risk, his or her bail could be reduced.

  4. Fewer personal costs—Avoiding jail time, reducing incarceration rates, and lowering an individual’s bail can save an offender personal, family, and work time, not to mention money. Across the state, reducing personal costs could account for hundreds if not thousands of hours of saved time.

  5. Fewer public costs—The White House estimates that 11 million people move in and out of local jail systems annually, costing municipalities $2,000 on average per person. Reducing the number of people incarcerated and the amount of time that those incarcerated have to serve can save the public hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

While the Data Driven Justice Initiative has just been announced, we’re hopeful that its data-driven approaches will result in key changes as explained above, to the Pennsylvania criminal justice system.

Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC Can Help

At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC, we’ve helped countless individuals pass through Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system, which can be complicated, frustrating, and inefficient at times. We’re glad to see that Pennsylvania is among the 67 partners to join the Data Driven Justice Initiative and are cautiously optimistic that Pennsylvania’s partnership will result in fewer incarceration, reduced imprisonment times, smarter bail calculations, and fewer costs to the accused as well as the public.

If you’ve been charged with a crime in Pennsylvania and are seeking representation for your alleged crime, contact one of the experienced Pittsburgh criminal defense attorneys at Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC for a free, initial consultation at (412) 281-2146 today.