HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Governor Wolf and the Pa. Department of Corrections (PADOC) launched a new information dashboard to enhance data transparency for Pa.’s criminal justice system.
Partnering with Recidiviz, a nonprofit helping utilize data sharing within the system, PADOC created a public website to answer questions about prison and parole in Pa. through visual data to give information to researchers, policymakers and journalists.
“Pennsylvanians have called for effective, bipartisan criminal justice reforms that won’t compromise public safety,” Gov. Wolf said. “Sharing updated information through this dashboard is the next step toward reaching our goal, and I will continue to push for data-driven reforms and transparency so that we can create a fairer corrections system.”
Updated weekly, the dashboard shows data related to Pa.’s corrections system with analysis and educational resources. It’s a user-friendly system to help those who want to investigate, for example, the most common reasons why people on parole are sent back to prison.
“As we continue to see low levels of crime and drive toward a more equitable criminal justice system, we encourage Pennsylvanians to track our historic decarceration efforts with this new dashboard,” Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said. “Our partnership with Recidiviz is part of a comprehensive effort by the Department of Corrections and the PA Parole Board to reduce Pennsylvania’s prison population through data-based policies, reduce disparity and help individuals leaving the system be successful in the community.”
Both Gov. Wolf and PADOC also hope the dashboard helps people understand the steps Pa. is taking to reduce systemic racial disparities.
The effort builds on previous initiatives in the Wolf Administration to put in commonsense criminal justice reforms, such as the Clean Slate law to close minor conviction charges after 10 years.