Dept. of Justice: AG Schimel improves criminal justice system transparency with access to data on sexual offenses

MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Brad Schimel announced the launch of new interactive data dashboards regarding criminal sex offenses with incident-level details, in order to improve transparency in criminal justice data for citizens, policy-makers, and researchers.

“We cannot forget that behind all of these numbers are survivors; survivors who have gone through one of the most traumatic events somebody can experience,” said Attorney General Brad Schimel. “Making this information easily available to the public is critical to creating evidence-based decisions in the criminal justice system that will improve outcomes for survivors of crimes and initiate prevention methods to prevent others from becoming crime victims. As society is taking a more critical look at sexual assault occurring in our society, it is so important that the public have access to this data set. We’re grateful to survivors who came forward. Without their help, we could not hold offenders accountable and make our communities safer.”

The interactive data dashboard on sex offenses is the first Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) dashboard developed offering incident-level detail. Users can view the number and rate of six different sex offenses reported by each law enforcement agency over the last 5 years. Additionally, incident-level details including weapons, locations, victim and offender demographics, and the relationships between victims and offenders is available per county, year, and type of sex offense. Previously, only aggregate-level information for rape offenses and arrests was available. View the sex offense data dashboard at https://www.doj.state.wi.us/dles/bjia/ucr-sex-offense-data.

Data from 2013-2017 are currently available on the dashboard, and the data will be refreshed quarterly. Additional information regarding the six sex offenses and methodology are available on the dashboard page. These data are based on sex offenses reported by Wisconsin law enforcement agencies to the BJIA through the Wisconsin Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program, using definitions of offenses as defined by the FBI. Law enforcement agencies are responsible for the completeness and accuracy of the data submitted under the UCR program.

This data dashboard was developed by the DOJ Bureau of Justice Information and Analysis (BJIA), which works to inform criminal justice policy and practice by conducting objective research, analysis, and evaluation of information. BJIA first launched interactive data dashboards in 2016. Other dashboards currently available, which include data from 2013 to 2017, are arrests by location, arrest demographics, offenses by location, and offense and arrest data by agency.

Attorney General Schimel has made supporting victims of sexual assault one of his top priorities. Under Attorney General Schimel’s administration, DOJ has reformed sexual assault response protocols, advocated for legislation that protects survivors, trained communities to respond to sexual assault with a trauma-informed, victim-centered approach, and championed the testing of previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits in Wisconsin.

https://www.doj.state.wi.us/news-releases/ag-schimel-improves-criminal-justice-system-transparency-access-data-sexual-offenses

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