Data-Driven Justice

Data-Driven Justice: Disrupting the Cycle of Incarceration



Every year, more than 11 million people move through America’s 3,100 local jails, many on low-level, non-violent misdemeanors. The average length of stay is 23 days and 95 percent of the cases are resolved at the local level without a prison sentence. On any given day, more than 450,000 people are held in jail before trial, even though they have not been convicted of a crime. Research shows that even a short stay in jail can impact a person’s health, job and family stability, and can also increase the likelihood that they will commit future crimes. The costs of administering local criminal justice systems are significant, both in terms of actual dollars to taxpayers and in the disruptive impact of incarceration on children, families and communities.

Join the Initiative!

If your county or city is interested in participating in the initiative, please submit a letter committing to support the development of a smarter, more data-driven criminal justice system to A sample letter can be found here.

NACo Contact: Natalie Ortiz

Counties, cities and states that have joined the DDJ initiative are developing strategies to address two key populations that drive jail populations:

  • “Frequent utilizers” who are often chronically homeless individuals with mental illness, substance abuse and health problems who repeatedly cycle through multiple systems, including jails, hospital emergency rooms, shelters and other services; and
  • People held in jail before trial because they cannot afford to bond out, not because they are a risk to the community or a risk of flight.

These populations represent an opportunity for targeted, resource-saving interventions since they comprise a significant percentage of many jail populations. New innovations demonstrate that finding better alternatives to jail for individuals in these categories can not only save resources, but also help stabilize families and better serve communities. Many jurisdictions and organizations are taking action to advance these goals.

More than 130 Jurisdictions Nationwide

Full List
Birmingham, AL
Montgomery County, AL
Coconino County, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Pima County, AZ
Yavapai County, AZ
Pulaski County, AR
Long Beach, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles County, CA
Oakland, CA
Sacramento, CA
San Diego County, CA
San Francisco City & County, CA
Santa Clara County, CA
Santa Cruz County, CA
Arapahoe County, CO
Boulder County, CO
Denver City and County, CO
Hartford, CT
Washington, DC
Leon County, FL
Miami-Dade County, FL
Pinellas County, FL
Fulton County, GA
LaGrange, GA
Troup County, GA
Black Hawk County, IA
Johnson County, IA
Polk County, IA
Champaign County, IL
Cook County, IL
Lake County, IL
McLean County, IL
Indianapolis and Marion County, IN
Douglas County, KS
Johnson County, KS
Jefferson County, KY
Lafayette Parish, LA
New Orleans Parish, LA
Acton, MA
Arlington, MA
Ashland, MA
Bedford, MA
Billerica, MA
Boxborough, MA
Burlington, MA
Cambridge, MA
Carlisle, MA
Chelmsford, MA
Concord, MA
Dracut, MA
Lowell, MA
Lynn, MA
Middlesex County, MA
North Reading, MA
Reading, MA
Somerville, MA
Suffolk County, City of Boston, MA
Tewksbury, MA
Townsend, MA
Wakefield, MA
Watertown, MA
Allegany County, MD
Anne Arundel County, MD
Montgomery County, MD
Portland, ME
Detroit, MI
Wayne County, MI
Dakota County, MN
Hennepin County, MN
Ramsey County, MN
Roseau County, MN
Winona County, MN
Boone County, MO
Mecklenburg County, NC
Wake County, NC
Douglas County, NE
Camden County, NJ
Hudson County, NJ
Bernalillo County, NM
Doña Ana County, NM
Rio Arriba County, NM
Clark County, NV
Albany, NY
Albany County, NY
Dutchess County, NY
New York City, NY
Suffolk County, NY
Cuyahoga County, OH
Franklin County, OH
Lucas County, OH
Shelby County, OH
Hood River County, OR
Lane County, OR
Multnomah County, OR
Allegheny County, PA
Berks County, PA
Chester County, PA
Franklin County, PA
Lehigh County, PA
Mercer County, PA
Northampton County, PA
Philadelphia County, PA
Potter County, PA
Rhode Island
Charleston County, SC
Codington County, SD
Minnehaha County, SD
Pennington County, SD
Knoxville, TN
Shelby County, TN
Bexar County, TX
Dallas County, TX
El Paso County, TX
Harris County, TX
Travis County, TX
Salt Lake City, UT
Salt Lake County, UT
Fairfax County, VA
Harrisonburg, VA
Rockingham County, VA
Everett, WA
King County, WA
Snohomish County, WA
Walla Walla County, WA
Dane County, WI
Dunn County, WI
Eau Claire County, WI
Milwaukee County, WI

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