HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Wolf, together with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, on Friday launched a new information dashboard that will enhance Pennsylvania’s efforts to promote data transparency surrounding its criminal justice ecosystem.
PADOC has partnered with Recidiviz, a non-profit organization that empowers data sharing within the criminal justice system, to create a public-facing Web site designed to answer questions about prison and parole in Pennsylvania through engaging data visualizations and provide insights to researchers, policymakers and journalists.
“Pennsylvanians have called for effective, bipartisan criminal justice reforms that won’t compromise public safety,” 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.”
The dashboard, which is updated weekly, shares data related to Pennsylvania’s corrections system along with analysis and educational context.
It also offers user-friendly data visualizations that provide insights and opportunities for further analysis. For example, visitors to the dashboard can investigate how the prison population has grown and shrunk in the past 20 years, or understand the most-common reasons why individuals on parole or probation 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 de-carceration efforts with this new dashboard,” said Corrections Secretary John Wetzel.
“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.”
The dashboard is designed to enable the public to understand and review steps Pennsylvania is taking to reduce systemic racial disparities.
Pennsylvania’s state prison population has declined by more than 13,000 people since 2015, and people of color have represented 70 percent of the reduction.
This effort builds on Wolf’s previous initiatives to implement commonsense criminal justice reforms, including the Clean Slate law, which seals minor conviction charges after 10 years.
The Wolf Administration is dedicated to driving the steady decline of incarcerated people in Pennsylvania with a focus on rehabilitation and reintegration.