The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors received a presentation on criminal justice improvement measures in the county during their regular meeting Tuesday, which included an update on the status of a criminal justice data dashboard.
Earlier this year, Supervisors requested better data collection and transparency among the county’s criminal justice departments. To execute this, officials across the county’s criminal justice departments are working on a public data dashboard that would display criminal justice data.
While much of the dashboard is still under construction, the county’s Probation Department has already published its portion of the dashboard on its website. Community members can find this data at sbprobation.org under the “Adult Services” menu.
Chief Probation Officer Tanja Heitman told the Supervisors on Tuesday that this dashboard is meant to increase transparency and awareness, not determine crime correlation or causation.
“This is a transparency initiative to improve public access and awareness of criminal justice data, as well as encourage greater responsiveness to trends and outcomes,” Chief Heitman said. “It cannot be used to establish causal relationships, nor is it intended to be utilized in place of an outcome evaluation.”
In the coming months, the Criminal Justice Data Committee will be looking for ways to further advance the dashboard with information from the District Attorney, courts and Sheriff’s Office. Over the long term, the goal is to create an interactive dashboard including information from all criminal justice partner departments.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Supervisor Gregg Hart praised the criminal justice departments for their efforts in data collection and justice system reform thus far.
“The increased data transparency and making the court process more efficient by improving discovery are huge accomplishments that deserve celebration,” Mr. Hart said.
In addition to this update from criminal justice partners, Supervisors also unanimously approved an agreement with EF Johnson Company to complete a Public Safety Radio System Replacement Project. The project will utilize more than $30 million in funds to improve the county’s public safety radio system that is utilized by various departments.