A Free Tool for Making Data-Driven Decisions in Youth Justice

Introducing Pro-DATA

Updated June 20, 2024 | Posted August 3, 2023
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
A woman in a headscarf sits at an office desk and appears to be checking a piece of paper against what is on her laptop screen.

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.

Apply to use Pro-DATA

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.

View a list of juris­dic­tions cur­rent­ly using Pro-DATA

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.

Already a reg­is­tered user? Vis­it the log-in portal

Explore Casey’s juve­nile pro­ba­tion resources

This post is related to:

Popular Posts

View all blog posts   |   Browse Topics

Youth with curly hair in pink shirt

blog   |   June 3, 2021

Defining LGBTQ Terms and Concepts

A mother and her child are standing outdoors, each with one arm wrapped around the other. They are looking at each other and smiling. The child has a basketball in hand.

blog   |   August 1, 2022

Child Well-Being in Single-Parent Families