Colorado district attorneys unveil data about prosecutions, racial disparities


Eight Colorado district attorneys on Thursday released detailed data about their operations in an attempt to be more transparent with the public amid broader criticism of racial disparities in and distrust of the U.S. criminal justice system.

The data offers a look at the operations of Colorado’s prosecutors in unprecedented detail, with researchers tracking 55 different aspects of prosecution, ranging from charging and bond decisions to sentencing to how long cases take to be resolved.

“For too long and too often, the justice system feels like a black box of information,” 18th Judicial District Attorney John Kellner said during a news conference Thursday. “…That changes today.”

The data is presented publicly in online dashboards for each of the eight offices that participated in the research project, which was funded by an $882,000 grant from the Microsoft Justice Reform Institute. The research was carried out by the University of Denver’s Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab and by Prosecutorial Performance Indicators.

Five Front Range district attorneys and two elected prosecutors in other areas of the state participated in the project, including the district attorneys in Denver and Boulder, as well as in Jefferson, Larimer, Arapahoe, Douglas, La Plata, Montrose and Eagle counties, among others.

“We are not offering data for data’s sake,” said Alexis King, the district attorney in Jefferson and Gilpin counties. “We are offering data as a step towards transparency, to promote public trust and really to solve problems.”

King said she hopes the data will help inform the district attorney’s office of where racial disparities exist within the court process so that the prosecutors can work to remedy those disparities.


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