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Broward County and Orlando area state attorneys join FIU’s prosecutorial performance project

Broward County and Orlando area state attorneys join FIU’s prosecutorial performance project

The two-year project seeks to achieve data-driven, evidence-based prosecution and sentencing

April 9, 2021 at 2:00pm

Florida International University and Loyola University Chicago recently added state attorneys’ offices in Broward County and Orange and Osceola counties (Orlando area) to their network of nationally recognized prosecutors using data to gauge effectiveness, efficiency and fairness in prosecution.
Participants in the Prosecutorial Performance Indicators (PPI) project commit to increasing transparency and accountability by objectively measuring and analyzing prosecutorial practices. Key indicators include increasing timely handling of cases, reducing racial and ethnic disparities, and expanding community outreach and engagement.
With Broward and Orlando area joining prosecutors in Jacksonville and Tampa, the project now includes four prosecutor’s offices in Florida.
“Prosecutors in Florida are paving the way for a more race-equitable, transparent and data-driven criminal-justice system,” said Melba Pearson, director of policy and programs for the Center for the Administration of Justice at FIU and a co-manager of the PPI project. “It is an honor to assist them in their efforts to provide more transparency as we strive to make data culture in prosecution the norm.”
The project’s eight partners from around the nation are working to create public online data dashboards that will offer a multilayered and holistic assessment to move beyond individual cases to determine broader impacts and effectiveness.
The PPI includes 55 performance measures that challenge and expand traditional measures of success in the field of prosecution. The priorities include safety, community well-being, justice, equity and fairness for everyone affected by the criminal justice system.
“FIU offers prosecutors an evidence-based framework with which to use data to create a more equitable vision of justice. Now is the time for researchers and prosecutors to work closely together as partners, and we look forward to working with the state attorneys in Broward and Orlando,” said Besiki Kutateladze, criminology professor at FIU and the project’s lead researcher.

The PPI is funded by a $3.7 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation and overseen at FIU by the Center for the Administration of Justice, part of the Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs.
“Success for prosecutors should be associated with more than convictions and harsh sentences,” said Aisha Edwards, program officer at the MacArthur Foundation. “The Prosecutorial Performance Indicators offer a holistic way to define success, collects data to measure progress, encourages collaboration with community members, and provides the tools needed to tackle racial inequities. Our goal is to help create a more equitable and effective criminal justice system.”