Atlanta, Georgia—Dec. 16, 2020— Georgia DCS Commissioner Michael W. Nail today announced that he will be joining several other nationally-recognized criminal justice decision-makers on the newly formed steering committee for Justice Counts, the largest, most comprehensive effort to improve the availability and utility of criminal justice data to date.

 

Justice Counts, made possible by the support of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, is a national, consensus-building initiative designed to help policymakers make better decisions with criminal justice data that’s more timely, less disjointed, and as useful as possible. 

 

“Our public health and labor agencies act on timely data and track trends in real-time, yet criminal justice data reflects a reality that is months, if not years, old by the time it reaches us as decision-makers,” said Nail, who recently met with fellow committee members. “There are just too many instances where we’re charting a course for our system with data that is inconsistent or delayed. I’m honored to leverage the great strides we have made at DCS and take part in improving our data not only in Georgia but across the country.”

 

The initiative is led by The Council of State Governments Justice Center and backed by 21 additional partners representing officials in every corner of our nation’s state, county, and municipal justice systems. The steering committee comprises active state and local officials—from law enforcement, to corrections, to legislatures, and beyond—who will help the initiative organize available data for each state and ultimately reach consensus about a baseline set of criminal justice metrics that can drive budget and policy decisions. 

 

“Justice Counts has assembled an unprecedented coalition of state and local leaders to enhance policymakers’ decisions across our nation’s justice system,” said Georgia Supreme Court Justice Michael P. Boggs, who will chair the steering committee. “I’m proud to help mobilize policymakers and stakeholders from across the country to put these metrics to work, and to support the development of the tools they need to help them measure what matters.”

 

Justice Counts will embark on a scan of public, aggregate criminal justice data to provide policymakers in every state with timely information about their criminal justice systems, existing gaps in data collection, and opportunities to do better. 

 

Specifically, the steering committee will guide the following efforts:

  • State data: We will aggregate publicly available data from each of the 50 states to provide timely, integrated information and identify opportunities to improve data collection, analysis, and reporting.
  • Consensus: We will bring state and local leaders together to reach consensus about a baseline set of criminal justice metrics that can inform budget and policy decisions.
  • Resources: Create a range of tools that will enable policymakers and practitioners to improve how their state or locality collects, analyzes, and reports criminal justice data.

 

To learn more about Justice Counts, visit the initiative’s website at www.justice-counts.org.

 

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ABOUT THE CSG JUSTICE CENTER

The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that combines the power of a membership association, representing state officials in all three branches of government, with policy and research expertise to develop strategies that increase public safety and strengthen communities. For more information about the CSG Justice Center, visit www.csgjusticecenter.org.

 

About the Georgia Department of Community Supervision:

 

The Department of Community Supervision is responsible for the community-based supervision of more than 200,000 adult felony offenders, and Class A and Class B designated juvenile offenders.

 

It is the mission of the Georgia Department of Community Supervision to protect and serve all Georgia citizens through effective and efficient offender supervision in our communities while providing opportunities for successful outcomes. DCS employs evidence-based practices to hold offenders accountable and reduce the state’s recidivism rate. For more information, visit dcs.georgia.gov.

 

Media Contacts:

 

Brian Tukes, Director of External Affairs

Georgia Department of Community Supervision

external.affairs@dcs.ga.gov 

470-217-6539

 

Jamelle Washington, Public Information Officer 

Georgia Department of Community Supervision

external.affairs@dcs.ga.gov

404-561-4590