A Free Tool for Making Data-Driven Decisions in Youth Justice
A new tool from the Annie E. Casey Foundation makes youth justice data more accessible and actionable to probation leaders, staff and community partners. By collecting, organizing and visualizing data, Pro-DATA helps drive decision making and data transparency in youth justice — particularly as it relates to juvenile probation. This free online resource is available to jurisdictions by request.
With Pro-DATA, users can easily visualize trends, monitor outcomes, identify opportunities for improvement and track which interventions work — and don’t work — and for which groups of youth.
“Juvenile justice data is notoriously fractured and difficult to access, even for decision-makers with the most power to affect young people’s freedom, connections and opportunities.” says Danielle Lipow, a senior associate at the Foundation. Casey — working in partnership with experts nationwide — created Pro-DATA to address these problems. “The tool helps jurisdictions see what’s happening in their own systems and compare their progress to places in other parts of the country,” says Lipow.
What Is Pro-DATA?
Pro-DATA includes the following components:
- a custom-built application that can help jurisdictions gather and organize their youth justice data for more than 100 measures, such as court referrals, formal prosecutions and new probation cases. The tool can also be used to track local priorities and break data down by offense type, risk level and more.
- a dashboard that allows users to analyze and visualize a single site’s data or explore how their site’s data compares to others. In multi-site views, only a user’s jurisdiction will be labeled, with the other sites anonymized. The dashboard also helps users view information in context by identifying trends over time and disaggregating data by race.
Judges, probation administrators and officers, data specialists and community partners in more than 20 jurisdictions have been testing Pro-DATA since March 2022. Henry Gonzales, executive director of the juvenile probation department in Harris County, Texas — home to Houston — piloted the tool. “When I saw what Pro-DATA could do, I knew a wide range of individuals should have access to it, and not just people inside the probation department,” Gonzales shared. “Data transparency is a core principle of our agency, so this was a no-brainer.”
Who Can Access the Tool?
While the Foundation encourages public systems to utilize Pro-DATA to build community partnerships through data transparency, system leaders will set access for each jurisdiction. By extending invitations broadly, agency leaders can engage the community partners who are best positioned to create the opportunities and support networks that young people need for healthy development.
Apply for Your Jurisdiction to Use Pro-DATA
“If you work in this field, Pro-DATA will help bring your data to life and sharpen your decision-making,” says Lipow.
Interested agencies can learn more and apply via the button below. As part of this process, a jurisdiction must identify at least one leader to serve as an initial account holder.