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New bill seeks to give public easier access to criminal justice data

New bill seeks to give public easier access to criminal justice data
New bill seeks to give public easier access to criminal justice data
Posted at 4:30 PM, Jan 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-31 13:26:13-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Recently filed legislation at the state capitol, aims to simplify the collection and reporting of criminal justice data in Florida.

The goal of the bill is to better understand exactly who is in jail, for what crimes, and for how long, while making the information more accessible to the public.

Supporters of the measure say criminal justice data is now held by so many different agencies at a county level, it is hard to properly aggregate numbers to see where there may be outliers when it comes to issues like racial disparity or varied sentencing outcomes.

During a news conference at the capitol Wednesday, house speaker Richard Corcoran said having easier access to good data will lead to better accountability in the criminal justice system, and will ultimately save taxpayer dollars.

"What this will do, moving forward, is will allow us to have clear answers, clear understanding and clear data on how to move forward in creating the best criminal justice system in America," said Corcoran.

Currently, each of Florida's 67 counties store criminal information differently and what is and is not classified can vary between jurisdictions.

The legislation aims to put all of the statistics into one, easy to find database.