DA Kellner's office announces data transparency effort

Online ‘data dashboard’ gives public a look into criminal justice system

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The district attorney for much of the south Denver metro area says his jurisdiction — the 18th Judicial District — is the first in Colorado to unveil an online, interactive “data dashboard,” according to a news release.

The tool will make more information available to the public about District Attorney John Kellner’s office and its work on an ongoing basis. The district includes Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties.

“We are public servants, and the public has a right to meaningful information about what we do,” Kellner said in the release.

This first phase of the transparency initiative, according to the release, includes five data dashboards:

• Dashboard 1 includes general information on the number of cases filed, cases resolved, the number of days to reach a resolution and the average number of court appearances before resolution. Like all the dashboards, it can be sorted by type of case and county.

• Dashboard 2 digs into the cases themselves, including a list of all cases filed in the last 30 days.

• Dashboard 3 presents information about how cases are resolved.

• Dashboard 4 provides details about sentences in those cases with a guilty verdict or plea agreement. The vast majority of sentences are focused on treatment and rehabilitation, according to the news release.

• Dashboard 5 includes limited demographic information about defendants with a guilty plea or verdict, along with the sentence imposed.

The dashboards are available on the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office website here. Some of the features present best on a computer rather a mobile device. The data is updated daily, the release said.

The race and ethnicity data regarding cases are limited because the information can come from various sources, Kellner said during a June 29 virtual community meeting. For example, it’s possible for race to be self-reported, he said. The ethnicity data is not tracked by courts, he added.

Eventually, Kellner’s office plans to list ZIP code and race and ethnicity data about victims of crime as well.

Another goal is to account for criminal history in the data so that the office can, for example, show why someone accused of attempted murder was sentenced to 18 years and another person accused of attempted murder was sentenced to 30 years, Kellner said.

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