Measures for Justice Releases Data from Missouri Showing Disparities Among Counties

Press Release

ROCHESTER, NY – February 11, 2020 — Measures for Justice (MFJ)

Today, Measures for Justice released criminal justice data on Missouri about incarceration rates for felonies and drug possession that reveal notable differences between how counties across the state handle these cases.

At a time when Governor Parson has acknowledged the need to improve the state’s criminal justice data, MFJ's data release offers a window into how Missouri incarcerates differently across different counties. It also makes a good case for why better and more comprehensive data collection, standardization, and sharing are essential to understanding the state’s criminal justice practices and where they can be improved.

“Public data are critically important to any and all efforts to improve our justice system,” said Amy Bach, Founder and Executive Director of Measures for Justice. “We have a great track record of educating states about how to close their criminal justice data gaps; Missouri would be a great next state.”

Among the findings, MFJ discovered that DeKalb County sentenced nonviolent felony cases to prison at a much higher rate than the state average. The same applies to Buchanan County, which sentenced drug possession cases to prison at a much higher rate than the state average.

This effort is part of MFJ's larger initiative to make good criminal justice data available and actionable to spur reform. This data release demonstrates the power and utility good data can have for making informed decisions about where and what reforms are needed.

About Measures for Justice: Since 2011, Measures for Justice (MFJ) has been on a mission to make good criminal justice data available and actionable to spur reform. MFJ does this by collecting and releasing performance data from counties; working to standardize and improve criminal justice data policies; and delivering tools and services to ensure people can use the data to best effect.