WASHINGTON, D.C – This month, more than 300 of the nation’s leading, reform-minded thought leaders met in Washington at the Center for Policing Equity’s 2018 Biennial Convening, Mapping the Science of Justice. With support from Google.org, the convening brought attendees together to discuss issues in their respective communities, highlight effective strategies and policies, and discover a new path forward toward justice.
The two-day event was held May 2nd – 3rd at Georgetown’s Fairmont Hotel. The convening provided opportunities for attendees to meet with those engaged in work in their area of criminal justice reform (community engagement, policing, courts, incarceration, and re-entry) as well as those operating in separate but overlapping areas, and discuss some of our country’s most pressing criminal justice issues together.
“For many it was the first time police chiefs, community activists, researchers, and policymakers sat and learned together. We wanted to make people uncomfortable—just a little,” said Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, president and cofounder of CPE. “Because there is no way we are solving the generational problems in front of us from the comfort of the silos we’ve worked in for the past several decades.”
New software created by Google engineers and CPE was also unveiled last week. The software, COMPSTAT for Justice, automatically cleans, audits, and standardizes police data—including stops and use of force—for departments across the country participating in CPE’s National Justice Database. The work builds upon Google’s three-year initiative to support criminal and racial justice through its platforms, technical expertise, and a $30M grant portfolio.
“Google is honored to be able to contribute to efforts to achieve equal justice through data science and technology,” said Maab Ibrahim, a program manager at Google.org, which is Google’s philanthropy. “We believe that the COMPSTAT for Justice will strengthen relationships between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve, and we are proud our engineers could dedicate their time to this effort.”
“By collecting a representative sample of police data, CPE and our partners will be able to provide the first national snapshot of how much (and if) police departments contribute to racially disparate outcomes.,” Dr. Goff continued. “From this benchmark, it will be possible to begin crafting national benchmarks—and collective goals—for reducing racial disparities at the front end of the criminal legal systems.”
The first state to pledge its full support of the database with CPE is Connecticut. The new partnership was announced during the convening.
“This partnership will allow for a systemic and data driven approach to address the tension between law enforcement and the citizens they serve,” Governor Dannel P. Malloy said. “It goes well beyond data collection to include analytics and customized solutions, giving police chiefs a significant tool toward being able to evaluate use of force and bias within their ranks. A robust and transparent analysis of data will continue to help our law enforcement agencies to become the more just and professional departments we always strive to be. Connecticut’s law enforcement agencies have continued to use data-informed strategies to reduce crime. That is one of the reasons our state has reduced the rate of violent crime more than any state in the nation over the last four years.”
To learn more about CPE’s Biennial Convening, COMPSTAT for Justice, or the National Justice Database, please follow #MSOJ2018 on Twitter or visit policingequity.org.