In the Media
July 19, 2023
On July 19, 2023, three Colorado District Attorneys’ (DA) offices unveiled “data
dashboards,” a publicly available resource designed to promote more effective,
just, and transparent decision-making in prosecution. The dashboards are an
expansion of the Colorado Prosecutorial Dashboards project, with the 12th,
17th, and 21st Judicial Districts joining the eight Judicial Districts that unveiled
data dashboards last fall. Colorado is first in the nation to move toward
statewide implementation of prosecutorial data dashboards.
Read the news release: Move to promote more just and transparent prosecution grows to include more District Attorneys’ offices: Colorado continues to push toward statewide use of data to improve the fairness and effectiveness of the criminal justice system
Media coverage about the release:
February 15, 2023
Eight Colorado District Attorneys Release Reports on Racial and Ethnic Disparities at Points of Prosecutorial Discretion
Media coverage about the release:
September 8, 2022
Collaborative Statement Issued by Eight Colorado District Attorneys
As elected District Attorneys, both Republican and Democrat across rural and urban districts, we believe robust data is needed to identify and prioritize the actions we can take to improve community safety, the justice system, reduce disparities, and make sure we are treating defendants and victims fairly. Until now, though, most DA offices have simply not had the ability to aggregate, review, make meaning of, or share information publicly. Read the full statement here.
Media coverage about the public launch of data dashboards by District Attorneys:
DAs announce new data dashboards (press conference livestream)
August 10, 2022
The Denver Post
The Colorado Lab’s Dr. Lauren Gase and Loyola University Chicago’s Dr. Don Stemen submitted a letter to the editor in response to a July 27, 2022 article entitled “Black, Hispanic and homeless people face discrimination.” The response references work on the Colorado Prosecutorial Dashboards project. Read the article below.
We applaud the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office for their dedication to reviewing their data and identifying opportunities to ensure equitable treatment. We are proud to be working with Boulder and seven other DA offices across the state to develop data dashboards — an important step to support transparency, justice and fairness, and data-driven decision-making.
To support actionability, it is important to distinguish between disproportionality and disparity. As the study illustrates, disproportionality exists throughout Boulder’s criminal justice system, for example, with more people of color arrested than we should expect, given the population. However, the data provides limited evidence of people being treated differently by the Boulder County DA’s Office.
Disparity exists when people who should be treated the same are treated differently. Results show that the racial makeup of the defendant pool did not change much once a case was filed; once charged, Black, Hispanic and white defendants were treated similarly. While results do show differences in prison sentences, the data presented did not consider potential differences in cases, like the severity of charges or the defendant’s criminal history. Further exploration is needed to determine whether prosecutors’ decisions vary for similar types of cases.
The bottom line is that there has not been enough information presented to conclude that there are differences in how the Boulder County DA’s Office treats people. This should be acknowledged while still recognizing and working to eliminate the disproportionalities that exist in the criminal justice system.
Lauren Gase, Denver
Don Stemen, Chicago
Editor’s note: Gase is a senior researcher/project director at the University of Denver; Stemen is professor and director at the Center for Criminal Justice Research at Loyola University Chicago.
August 30, 2021
In an interview featured in the latest edition of Washington Monthly, Kristin Klopfenstein, Colorado Lab director and a nationally recognized expert on Advanced Placement (AP), notes that “AP was designed in the 1950s to be a program for precocious high schoolers who were very privileged. AP is serving exactly who it’s designed to serve, which is mostly upper-middle-class whites.”
The article examines why the benefits of the AP program continue to flow disproportionately to white students in affluent school districts—even as state and federal policy makers have worked to change this.
Read the article: AP’s Equity Face-Plant
April 7, 2021
Media Coverage of Racial Disparities in Prosecutorial Outcomes
The goal of the study, initiated by the Denver District Attorney’s Office, is to increase transparency and ensure the equitable treatment of defendants. Denver DA Beth McCann held a press event to discuss findings from the study.
September 30, 2020
The Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab, working in partnership with the Colorado Department of Human Services, announces the launch of the Colorado Early Care & Education Workforce Data Dashboard. This interactive portal provides access to data demonstrating the size, breadth, and expertise of the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECE) workforce in Colorado.
Read the news release: State-wide Dashboard for Colorado ECE Workforce Launches
May 12, 2020
KKCO 11 News
Colorado news station, KKCO 11, featured an article and news clip about the Addressing Food Insecurity by Improving Referral Systems between Medical and Social Services Providers in Mesa County project, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine (Anschutz) and led by Dr. Anne Nederveld.
View the article and news clip: CU researchers working to address food insecurity on the Western Slope
January 6, 2020
Online news source, Denverite, featured an article about Lab-funded project, The Intersection of Housing and Mental Health: Mapping Critical Social Determinants of Health, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Northern Colorado (UNCO). The Colorado Lab’s Deputy Director, Dr. Elysia Clemens, and UNCO PIs Drs. Jieun Lee and Ivan Ramirez, reflect on the research and outcomes.
Read the article: New research maps where housing and health crises collide in Colorado
November 26, 2019
The Chronicle of Social Change
Nonprofit online news source, The Chronicle of Social Change, featured an article on the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), a 2018 act aimed at expanded Title IV-E prevention services to strengthen families.
The Colorado Lab’s Deputy Director, Dr. Elysia Clemens, and a member of our University of Denver and Colorado Applied Research and Action Network (CARAN) community, Dr. Heather Taussig, shed light on FFPSA.
Read the article: A Philanthropic Partner for Building the Family First Arsenal
November 19, 2019
A Mathematica Podcast: On the Evidence
The Colorado Lab’s Director, Dr. Kristin Klopfenstein, recently spoke with Mathematica’s J.B. Wogan about the policy lab model at the 2019 Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management (APPAM) Fall Research Conference.
Listen to the podcast: Policy Labs: Research for State and Local Government
November 18, 2019
The Colorado Independent
Online news source, The Colorado Independent, featured an article about the recently completed Lab-funded project, The Intersection of Housing and Mental Health: Mapping Critical Social Determinants of Health, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Northern Colorado.
November 13, 2019
Researchers at the University of Northern Colorado completed a study mapping the places in Colorado where people’s access to affordable housing and their challenges related to mental health overlap, giving policymakers the ability to target state resources to help those most in need.
Read the news release: New On-line Mapping Tool Targets Link Between Housing, Mental Health