NEW ORLEANS – This week, District Attorney Jason Williams launched 15 new data dashboards to give the public increased access into the work of the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office. Joined by AH Datalytics Co-Founder Jeff Asher, Prosecutorial Performance Indicators (PPI) Director of Prosecution Projects Melba Pearson, City of New Orleans Chief Administrative Officer Gilbert Montaño, Greater New Orleans Inc. (GNO Inc.) President & CEO and NOLA Coalition member Michael Hecht, and Business Council of New Orleans and NOLA Coalition member Jim Cook, DA Williams showcased the new dashboards, which highlight the office’s work around: 1. Organizational and Staff Capacity, 2. Time and Resource Prioritization, 3. Timeliness of Case Processing, 4. Addressing Serious Crime, 5. Race and Ethnic Differences, and 6. Prosecutorial Ethics and Integrity.
“When taking office, I committed to building a 21st century prosecutor’s office. A key component of that work is a commitment to transparency and accountability which includes the development of public-facing data dashboards,” said District Jason Attorney Williams. “As promised, my office will continue to take the public on the journey of understanding the work of the DA’s Office and sharing information and data that provides important insight into what we are doing to increase safety and deliver justice in New Orleans. These 15 data dashboards are the next iteration of this work.”
Of the 15 new data dashboards, top highlights include:
- Since the resumption of jury trials in March 2022, OPDA has already tried over 50 cases in front of juries, comparing to just over 50 cases tried in all of 2018 and just under 50 cases in all of 2019, the last two years of jury trials pre-pandemic.
- As of September 29, 2022, of the 139 charges we’ve tried in front of juries, 79 have been violent crime charges, which shows OPDA’s focus on offenses causing the most harm in our neighborhoods.
To view the data dashboards, click here or visit orleansda.com/our-work/increase-transparency/.
AH Datalytics Co-Founder Jeff Asher said, “These data dashboards provide unique insights into the inner working of the District Attorney’s Office and, for the first time, the public can gain insights into the office’s performance across a range of issues. We were proud to partner with the District Attorney and PPI at the beginning of the journey toward improved transparency.”
PPI Prosecution Projects Director Melba Pearson said, “New Orleans is one of 21 prosecutors’ offices nationally where we have been doing data transparency work. Our criteria for working with an office is that the elected is willing to look at the data, address racial disparities, and be transparent with the community regarding the results of the work. Today is the culmination of a two-year process to achieve this goal. Across the country, more and more prosecutors have been embracing data in order to make their offices better, and determine what policies will be helpful for the community. Our communities have been demanding more transparency, and greater accountability. Using these data indicators are a way to ensure that equity and balance is happening within the system – and uncover when and where it is not. We need to ensure that we hold America to her promise of liberty and justice for all; data is the path forward to doing so. We look forward to continuing this journey, and we thank DA Jason Williams for being a leader in transparency in the state of Louisiana.”
New Orleans City Council President Helena Moreno said, “Having reliable, transparent data on our justice system is essential for improving public safety and instilling public confidence. I was proud to work with DA Williams while he was a Councilmember to launch the Council’s public crime and jail data dashboards and I’m appreciative that he is continuing this work on accountability and transparency as our District Attorney.”
GNO Inc. President & CEO Michael Hecht said, “One of the core tenets of the NOLA Coalition is coordination and accountability across the entire criminal justice system. The Prosecutorial Performance Indicators initiative is intended to enhance transparency, performance measurement, and community engagement for the District Attorney’s office, a critical step towards this goal of system-wide responsibility. We look forward to seeing and reviewing the results of PPI when implemented.”
As part of the rollout, DA Williams hosted a community event, in partnership with the Vera Institute of Justice and Dillard University’s Center for Racial Justice, to engage stakeholders and answer questions about the new data dashboards. Held at Dillard University, the event consisted of a panel including DA Williams, AH Datalytics Co-Founder Asher, AH Datalytics Staff Rachel Weinstein and PPI Director Pearson. It was moderated by Vera Institute of New Orleans Associate Director Sarah Omojola.