SF District Attorney

Policy

Data Dashboards

Data Transparency and Data Driven Decision-Making

Under the leadership of District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office works tirelessly to restore victims, resolve harm, and break the cycle of crime. As gatekeepers of the criminal justice system, prosecutors have both a legal and ethical duty to ensure the system operates effectively and without bias to protect public safety. 

Our public data dashboards reflect our commitment to 1) using data to drive office decisions and 2) ensuring that the public has access to accurate and timely information about what our office does. In 2018, the SFDA was the first prosecutor’s office in California and the second in the United States to publish prosecution data online in a public dashboard. As stewards of the public trust and guardians of the constitution and the criminal justice system, SFDA is committed to public accountability and transparency; toward that end, we continually strive to update and improve our dashboards.  

SFDA currently has six public data dashboards: 1) Incidents, Arrests, and Prosecutions, 2) District Attorney Actions on Arrests Presented, 3) Cases Prosecuted, 4) Case Resolutions, 5) Outcomes and Desistance; and 6) Independent Investigations Bureau. 

Details about data sources and limitations for each dashboard are provided below.  

Dashboards

Incidents, Arrests, and Prosecutions

This dashboard links data from the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) on reported crime incidents to data from SFDA on arrests that were presented to our office and cases that were prosecuted for those same incidents. The incident number, which originates with SFPD, is the basis upon which incidents, arrests, and criminal cases are linked. It is important to note that this is an imperfect process because one incident can result in multiple arrests and criminal cases and multiple incidents can result in the arrest and prosecution of a single individual. Despite these limitations, this is the best available methodology with which to present data on the work of the SFDA in the context of larger crime patterns in San Francisco. 

Additional data notes: 

  • This dashboard only includes crime incidents reported to SFPD and included in SFPD data published on DataSF.org. SFPD excludes certain sensitive incidents, such as homicides, domestic violence, and sexual assault from this dataset, so these crimes are not included here. In addition, SFDA has excluded crime incidents with incomplete data and non-criminal incidents, such as lost property. 
  • Crime type is defined based on the crime type assigned by SFPD.  
  • Approximately 80% of arrests presented to the SFDA come from SFPD. The remaining 20% come from more than a dozen other law enforcement agencies, including the California Highway Patrol, BART Police, MUNI Police, and others. As a result, this dashboard is not inclusive of all arrests presented to SFDA or all cases prosecuted.   

District Attorney Actions on Arrests Presented

After law enforcement has made an arrest for suspected criminal activity, the arresting agency presents its evidence to the District Attorney’s Office to determine what, if any, charges can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. This prosecutorial decision to file or to reject arrest charges represents the first, and one of the most important, decisions of the District Attorney’s Office. In addition to either filing new charges or declining to file charges (“discharging” the arrest), the prosecutor may also take other actions, such as initiating a motion to revoke probation or parole, referring the case back to the arresting agency for further investigation, or referring the case to another criminal justice agency.  

This dashboard presents data on every arrest that has been presented to the SFDA since 2011 and the “action” decision made by our office on each, based on data from the SFDA’s internal case management system. By including new filings as well as other prosecutorial actions and dividing them by the total number of arrests presented, we measure the total “Action Taken” rate of the office. 

Additional data notes: 

  • The date in this dashboard is based on the date the suspect was booked into county jail for the arresting incident. 
  • The unit of measurement for this dashboard is the court number, a unique combination of a person and a criminal incident, which may include one or more criminal charges. Although one criminal incident may include multiple suspects, the court number is a number unique to each person allegedly involved in an incident. 
  • Crime types for “most serious charge” are based on the most serious conduct for which the person was arrested. The crime types are based on a hierarchy developed in partnership with the California Policy Lab based on the California statutory codes (https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes.xhtml).   
  • The Domestic Violence case flag is based on whether or not the case was reviewed by the SFDA Domestic Violence Unit. In contrast to most criminal conduct, which is defined based the specific statute a person is alleged to have violated, domestic violence incidents are based on the relationship between the parties, as defined in Family Code § 6211 and Penal Code § 13700, and can include a wide variety of conduct. In 2013, the SFDA Domestic Violence Unit began to proactively “tag” cases they review in the office’s case management system to support improved data collection and reporting on domestic violence incidents.  
  • In contrast to the “SFDA Prosecutions of SFPD Incidents and Arrests,” this dashboard includes data on all arrests presented to SFDA by any arresting agency.  

Cases Prosecuted

This dashboard presents data on all cases presented to the District Attorney’s Office in which the office takes action to prosecute a case, either by filing new criminal charges or by filing a motion to revoke probation or parole (MTR). This does not include cases in which the San Francisco Adult Probation Department or the state Division of Adult Parole Operations files a motion to revoke. For cases in which SFDA files a new criminal charge, the most serious offense type is categorized as the most serious offense for which SFDA prosecuted the defendant. For cases in which SFDA files an MTR the most serious offense is categorized as the most serious offense for which the person was initially prosecuted. This is because a filing of an MTR means that new criminal charges were not filed for the new arresting offense, but rather that the District Attorney’s Office is seeking a new sanction as part of the sentence of a prior criminal conviction.  

Additional data notes: 

  • For new criminal filings, the date in this dashboard is based on the date the suspect was booked into county jail for the arresting incident. For MTRs, the date is based on the date when SFDA filed the MTR for the new arrest.  
  • The unit of measurement for this dashboard is the court number, a unique combination of a person and a criminal incident, which may include one or more criminal charges. 
  • Crime types for “most serious charge” are based on the most serious offense for which the District Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges.  

Case Resolutions

This dashboard presents data on all cases prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Office that have reached a final resolution, or case disposition. These dispositions include final resolutions that convey the completion of the criminal process (i.e., an acquittal, conviction, or dismissal), as well as a number of resolutions indicating that, while the particular criminal case has completed its processing in the San Francisco Superior Court, the defendant may continue to be involved in the justice system via a grand jury indictment, referral to the juvenile justice system, or other ongoing justice system actions. Because of the case tracking systems used in the San Francisco Superior Court, these cases are assigned new court numbers and thus show up as distinct cases in the data available to the District Attorney’s Office.  

In addition to presenting data on case resolutions, this dashboard also provides data on sentences for cases that resulted in convictions. Both pages of this dashboard (case resolutions and sentences) include every case prosecuted by SFDA that has resolved since 2011.  

Additional data notes: 

  • The date in this dashboard is based on the date of the case resolution or, for cases resulting in conviction, the date of the sentence. 
  • The unit of measurement for this dashboard is the court number, a unique combination of a person and a criminal incident, which may include one or more criminal charges.  
  • The case type and crime types for “most serious charge” are based on the most serious offense for which the District Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges.   

Outcomes and Desistance

The Outcomes and Desistance Dashboard is a tool for understanding the extent to which individuals who are convicted of crimes in San Francisco successfully avoid subsequent involvement in the criminal justice system. Toward that end, this dashboard compares outcomes for individuals convicted of a felony or misdemeanor in calendar years 2013 through 2018 and sentenced to county jail or local supervision in San Francisco. Subsequent contact is tracked three years after release from jail or the date of conviction, whichever occurs later, at three distinct criminal justice contact points: 

  • New Arrest: A new arrest is defined as misdemeanor and felony arrests for new, alleged criminal activity in San Francisco. 
  • New Arraignment: A new arraignment is defined as a new misdemeanor or felony charge filed by the SFDA or a motion to revoke supervision (MTR) filed for new, alleged criminal activity by the SFDA or the Adult Probation Department. 
  • New Conviction: A new conviction is defined as a conviction with a sentence to local supervision, county jail, or state prison for new criminal activity in San Francisco. Of note, a person may experience a new arraignment, but not a new conviction if they are successfully diverted from the criminal justice system through participation in pretrial diversion or Collaborative Courts. 

The Post-Conviction Outcomes Dashboard is part of a larger movement within the City and County of San Francisco to use data, technology, and research as tools to reduce incarceration and racial disparities in our criminal justice system. Tools like this dashboard help us create safer communities and advance the national dialogue on best practices for local justice systems. 

This data sharing and visualization project was developed by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office through the San Francisco Sentencing Commission in collaboration with the Sheriff’s Department and the California Policy Lab. The Justice Dashboard was created, in part, with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as a part of the Safety and Justice Challenge, which seeks to reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails. 

Additional data notes: 

  • Conviction Cohort: The year that the person entered the cohort: either the date of conviction or the date of release from San Francisco County Jail, whichever occurred later. 
  • Index Case: The case associated with the conviction that placed the person in the Conviction Cohort. 
  • Index Offense: The index offense is the most serious charge filed on the index case. 

Independent Investigations Bureau Dashboard

Promoting accountability in law enforcement, and preventing unlawful conduct that harms the community, requires transparency. For too long in the United States, officer-involved shootings, in-custody deaths, and use-of-force incidents have been shrouded in secrecy. As the lead criminal investigator of these incidents in the City and County of San Francisco, the Internal Investigations Bureau documents and tracks every officer-involved shooting and in-custody death. The IIB Dashboards provide near real time data, broken down by victim demographics and agency. 

While the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office has been collecting data on officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths since the late 1990s, the data from before 2011 may be incomplete. All incidents since 2011 are represented in the dashboards. 

In part stemming from the Blue Ribbon Panel on Transparency, Accountability, and Fairness in Law Enforcement’s recommendations, IIB was formed in late 2016. On April 10, 2019, IIB and SFPD executed a Memorandum of Understanding  regarding the investigation of officer-involved shootings, in-custody deaths, and uses of force resulting in serious bodily injury.  SFDA has prosecuted over 20 officers for police misconduct. 

Victim Services Division Dashboard

This dashboard presents information on the characteristics of victims served by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Victim Services Division (VSD), based on data housed in the District Attorney’s Office’s case management system. These data are entered manually by our office’s victim advocates, who provide direct services, advocacy and general support to victims. 

This dashboard presents information on every victim who has interacted with and/or received services from VSD since 2011. This includes people who were victimized before 2011 but have continued to receive VSD services in subsequent years. Individuals can receive services across multiple years but will never be counted more than once each year.  

Additional data notes 

  • The dates in this dashboard are based on the year VSD services were provided, rather than the date a case was assigned to VSD or the date a crime occurred. 
  • The unit of measurement for this dashboard is the victim case service number generated by VSD; an individual victim might be receiving services as a result of being impacted by more than one case, therefore might be connected to more than one case service number in the dataset. Our data cleaning process links case service numbers to names and ensures that the overall count of victims served includes each victim only once per year, regardless of the number of cases they are connected to.