As part of the 2018 Massachusetts bill signed into law, Criminal Justice Reform (CJR) requires the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) in consultation with the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security (EOTSS), to create a standardized data collection and reporting system for criminal justice agencies and the Trial Court to contribute data to and for EOPSS to make available to the public in the form of a Cross-Tracking System. To provide meaningful access to the resulting data, EOPSS developed a set of unique Cross-Tracking Dashboards, which empower members of the public for the first time to see organized, aggregated, and anonymized data, download datasets for independent study, and deepen their understanding of the Commonwealth's criminal justice system.
The dashboards and datasets linked below integrate a growing body of more than 9 million records from Massachusetts Department of Correction (DOC) and the Commonwealth's 13 Sheriffs' Offices that hold incarcerated individuals. Integrating the records dating back to January 2017 required statewide collaboration to agree on a governance framework, develop cross-agency data-sharing practices, and establish common data definitions across criminal justice custodial agencies. Prior to this, the agencies involved maintained their own unique policies, practices, and definitions. Now, for the first time, agencies across multiple secretariats and branches of government are using the same standardized data definitions and policies. This important process culminated in regulations, which include important definitions and context behind the information below. You can access the full regulations and key definitions here. This standardized approach will allow for consistent data collection and reporting. To facilitate data contributed by the judicial branch, EOPSS and the Trial Court entered into a Memorandum of Understanding, as referred in the regulations and can be accessed here.
In addition to the custodial agencies, several agencies contributed to the Cross-Tracking System, including: the Massachusetts Court System including the Trial Court, Superior Court, District Court, Boston Municipal Court, and Massachusetts Probation Service; the Massachusetts State Police, specifically, the State Identification Section; the Massachusetts Parole Board; and the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS). Additionally, independent experts from the Justice Reinvestment Policy Oversight Board and numerous criminal justice advocacy groups provided valuable insight and guidance.
Links to the Cross-Tracking System Dashboards & Datasets
About the Cross-Tracking System Dashboards & Datasets
Recognizing the opportunity to share meaningful data throughout the development process, EOPSS developed a phased approach to fully achieve the mandate of CJR and provide valuable information to the public. With the finalized regulations and consolidated correctional data from the 13 Sheriffs' Offices and DOC, the project leaders worked to link the data across multiple systems and publish the Cross-Tracking Dashboards and Datasets linked below. This required a tremendous amount of effort to match records across systems that did not previously communicate and utilized different data definitions and reporting standards. Additionally, EOPSS relied on its contributing data partners (the 13 Sheriffs' Offices and the DOC) to review their linked data and validate it to ensure that the data in the Dashboards accurately reflected their agency data.
With a target completion of late 2024, users can expect to see comprehensive criminal justice data provided by the Trial Court, Probation, Parole, state and local police departments, including dispositions, offenses, demographics and recidivism data. The system will show historical and current data for each Dataset, allowing users to evaluate trends in data over time and ultimately, track populations throughout the entire criminal justice process from arrest, to sentencing, to incarceration, and to release on Parole as applicable.
When fully achieved, the Cross-Tracking System will provide quality, standardized data that can be leveraged to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system in the Commonwealth. Equally important, the Cross-Tracking Dashboard will provide anonymized and comprehensive data on the criminal justice populations to the public.
To date, the following Cross-Tracking Dashboards have been released:
- State and County Populations
- Pre-Trial and Sentenced Populations
- Admissions and Releases
Future planned releases are as follows, but not limited to:
- Charges and Convictions - sentenced
- Charges and Convictions - pre-trial
- Recidivism 2024 Annual Update
- Programs 2024 Annual Update
For any other questions, please write to CJ360help@mass.gov