July 3, 2020

Gun Violence Interactive Dashboard

Chicago Justice Project’s Gun Violence Interactive Dashboard (GVID) will serve as a fact-based counterweight to sensationalized media coverage and as a highly credible resource for deep analysis about the state of gun violence in Chicago. The rigorous methodology and analyses used as the basis for the GVID will be grounded in the gun violence research literature, but visualized in an accessible way so that it serves to empower community members, policymakers, journalists, and advocates. Our evidence-based analysis will be the leading source for data and analysis on gun violence in Chicago while also serving to challenge local reporting and political agendas pushing for policies and practices that have not been found to be grounded in best practices. 

The profound advantage that the Dashboard will have over traditional academic research is that it will not be a static research report or journal article. Instead, it will be an interactive website regularly updated with the latest data, efficiently adapting current visualizations or adding brand new ones as research methods evolve. 

Research is often prevented entirely from taking place or co-opted by the agencies because they control who can access their data. This access allows the agencies to play a pivotal gatekeeper role regulating the research agenda irregardless of the quality of the research proposal. Research that has the possibility of shining a bright light on policies and practices that are not supported by the data simply is not allowed through the gate. The GVID will be removing the gate entirely and thus will drive innovative research on gun violence in Chicago. Some of that innovative research will allow for the creation of new visualizations or the modification of others within the GVID, which will spur further innovative research.

Open Data

CJP has opened access to the following datasets from across the Chicago & Cook County justice system. The data dates back to 2012 and is now accessible moving forward to power the Dashboard

  • Call level police call for service data from the Office of Emergency Management and Communications
  • Enhanced case level crime incident data from Chicago Police Department 
  • Case level felony review & felony prosecution data from the Cook County State’s Attorney

Goals

The goal of making the GVID available to the public is to transform the multiple years of justice system data we have obtained into an interactive dashboard that provides policymakers, the media, and advocates with social science driven research results on gun violence trends occurring in Chicago. CJP aims to use this research to reveal how the justice system is responding to gun violence and uncover the impact of agency specific policy on crime and violence levels in Chicago.

Deliverables

  1. Detailed analysis of how new justice system policies or practices compare with national best practices, data driven projections of their impact on gun violence, and annual reviews of the impact of the new policies and practices and how they compare to the projections.
  2. Detailed mapping of the life course of gun cases through the justice system with long-term trend analysis. 
  3. Detailed analysis of how each individual justice agency is handling gun violence cases with a special focus on trend analysis. 
  4. User friendly interface allowing communities to understand how gun violence does or does not occur in their community, the justice system’s response, and how this compares across demographically and economically diverse communities.