At this week’s OpenGov Hack Night, the Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council came and spoke about their work and how they use data to advise policymakers.
SPAC was created to collect, analyze and present data from all relevant sources to more accurately determine the consequences of sentencing policy decisions and to review the effectiveness and efficiency of current sentencing policies and practices. They’re a four person team split between Chicago and Springfield that advises the Illinois Legislature on how certain laws will impact prison populations.
The criminal justice system is complicated – any change in the law could affect the prison population and the cost to the state. SPAC uses a variety of data sources to analyze the effects of new laws and let Springfield know what’s working and what’s not. While you can FOIA SPAC, SPAC doesn’t actually own any of the data that it uses – rather it consumes data from other agencies.
Here’s Research Director Nate Inglis Steinfeld introducing SPAC.
You can see SPAC’s full slide deck below. If you’d like to get involved in using technology to aid the efforts in criminal justice reform, you should check out the Safety and Justice Breakout Group at OpenGov Hack Night.