D.A. Vance Launches New York’s First D.A. “Data Dashboard” in Groundbreaking Move Toward Transparency in Criminal Justice

March 18, 2021

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr., today announced the launch of a groundbreaking “Data Dashboard” that provides the public with comprehensive data about the Manhattan D.A.’s Office’s prosecutions in order to increase transparency around prosecutorial activities and enhance understanding of the criminal legal system. The new Data Dashboard, available at data.manhattanda.org, is the first in New York State and among the first and most robust in the nation. The uniquely user-friendly tool includes more than seven years’ worth of data from arrest to sentencing, and allows users to narrow results by race, gender, and age, among other filters. The data will be refreshed weekly.

“In this moment of unparalleled interest in the work of local prosecutors, our new Data Dashboard affirms our Office’s deep commitment to providing greater transparency and accountability to the communities we serve,” said District Attorney Vance. “The Data Dashboard represents the culmination of our years-long work to expand the use of data in our decision-making and to increase visibility into our practices. As one of the nation’s first and the most user-friendly of its kind, the Data Dashboard shows how local prosecutors across the country can capitalize on increased public engagement to move justice forward.”

In addition to topic-specific dashboards – including Arrests, Arraignments, Dispositions, and Sentences – the site features dashboards that allow users to compare prosecutorial outcomes for people of different races or ethnicities grouped in cohorts based on the year of their arrest. The site also includes explanations of important legal terms and procedures to ensure the Dashboard is as accessible as possible to community members, practitioners, journalists, and researchers alike. To integrate best practices in the field of data transparency, the Office developed this site in consultation with local and national data transparency experts and incorporated feedback from user testers and practitioners. The Office will continue to update and enhance the Data Dashboard moving forward to ensure it is user-friendly and responsive to the public.

“D.A. Vance’s new data dashboard is a groundbreaking tool that provides community members with the transparency and information they deserve regarding prosecutorial decision-making in Manhattan,” said Preeti Chauhan, Director of the Data Collaborative for Justice at John Jay College. “Providing communities access to this data in a user-friendly manner is a critical step toward increasing trust and confidence in the criminal legal system, and ultimately building a more just, equitable system. I commend D.A. Vance for leading the way in New York, and hope that this step inspires greater transparency in district attorney offices across the state and nation.”

“This robust and user-friendly data dashboard takes transparency in prosecutorial practices — too often hidden from public view — to a new level,” said Vincent Schiraldi, co-director of the Columbia University Justice Lab and former Commissioner of New York City Probation. “It will give researchers, the public, the media, and policymakers access to up-to-date information — broken down by important categories like race, offense severity, and case outcomes — on the workings of Manhattan’s criminal legal system. That kind of sunshine into the system’s workings will be invaluable in serving as antiseptic for promoting reforms. D.A. Vance deserves credit for setting a standard for data transparency that other prosecutors and branches of the criminal legal system should emulate.”