Justice Mapping Center

Justice Mapping Center Launches First National Atlas of Criminal Justice Data

Reports, Featured — Posted October 5th, 2010

The Justice Mapping Center launched the National Justice Atlas of Sentencing and Corrections, an online, interactive, mapping utility that gives policy makers, the media, researchers and the public a neighborhood-level view of where prison inmates and offenders on probation and parole are from and where corrections spending is highest. The atlas can be found at www.justiceatlas.org.

“After 26 months of extensive work with corrections departments in more than 22 states, we are proud to launch this unique, online, interactive criminal justice mapping resource,” said Eric Cadora, founder of the Justice Mapping Center. “We hope that in addition to revealing cycles of incarceration and reentry experienced by residents of communities across the country, the Justice Atlas will also spur policy responses that will have a positive impact on residents in neighborhoods already grappling with high rates of crime and violence.”

Publication of the Atlas means that for the first time, policy makers, researchers, community organizations, media and even departments of corrections themselves now have access to data that geographically illustrates:

  • the concentration of incarceration rates in disadvantaged communities all around the country;
  • the crucial role that parole and probation revocations play in recycling the same neighborhood residents back to prison each year;
  • the millions of dollars per neighborhood being spent to imprison residents of these communities;
  • the disparities between the proportion of a city’s population who live in a community and the proportion of the city’s returning prisoners who live in that community.

The Atlas reveals the following kinds of data:

  • In New York City, neighborhoods that are home to 18% of the city’s adult population account for more than 50% of prison admissions each year.
  • In Wichita, Kansas, where probation and parole revocations account for more than two-thirds of the city’s admissions to prison each year, one-quarter of all people on probation or parole live in only 8% of the city’s neighborhoods.
  • In Pennsylvania, taxpayers will spend over $40 million to imprison residents of neighborhoods in a single zip code in Philadelphia, where 38% of households have incomes under $25,000.
  • In Shreveport, Louisiana, nearly seven percent of all working age men living in the neighborhoods of a single zip code were sent to prison in 2008.
  • In Austin, Texas, while neighborhoods in three of the city’s 41 zip codes are home to only 3.5% of the city’s adult population, they grapple with over 17% of people returning from prison each year.

“The Justice Atlas provides state and local leaders with a powerful new tool to analyze what is driving their crime and incarceration rates and to devise new strategies that will produce a better return on the billions we spend on corrections,” said Adam Gelb, director of the Pew Center on the States Public Safety Performance Project.

The Justice Mapping Center created and launched the inaugural edition of the National Justice Atlas of Sentencing and Corrections through substantial support from the Ford Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Open Society Institute, the crucial participation of the research staff of departments of corrections and probation/parole in 22 states, and in collaboration with its partners at the JFA Institute and the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation’s Spatial Information Design Lab.  For a list of the 22 states included in the Justice Atlas and for more information, please visit www.justiceatlas.org .

Overview of Prisoner Re-Entry and Justice Reinvestment in Kansas

Reports — Posted April 10th, 2006

A two-page summary by the Council of State Governments on prisoner reentry and Justice Reinvestment in Wichita, which includes a map of prison admissions from Wichita.

To read this report, click here: Overview of Prisoner Re-Entry and Justice Reinvestment in Kansas

Building Community Capacity to Reduce Crime and Save Prison Space

Reports — Posted April 18th, 2005

A report by the Council of State Governments to the Committee of Rules and Regulations of the Kansas State Legislature about Justice Reinvestment. The PowerPoint report contains an extensive criminal justice population and resource analysis, as well as a review of other overlapping government program populations in Wichita.

To read this report, click here: Building Community Capacity to Reduce Crime and Save Prison Space

Building Bridges: From Conviction to Employment – One Year Later

Reports — Posted February 18th, 2004

A report by the Council of State Governments to the Appropriations Chair of the Connecticut General Assembly about Justice Reinvestment. The report contains a section of maps on criminal justice populations and resources, as well as other government program populations which overlap in New Haven and Hartford neighborhoods, which update a previous study conducted the year before.

To read this report, click here: Building Bridges: From Conviction to Employment – One Year Later

Options for Policymakers Considering a Justice Reinvestment Initiative in Louisiana

Reports — Posted January 24th, 2004

A report by the Council of State Governments to the Tulane University for the Louisiana Governor’s Task Force on Reentry about Justice Reinvestment. The report contains a section of maps on criminal justice populations and resources, as well as other government program populations which overlap in New Orleans

To read this report, click here: Options for Policymakers Considering a Justice Reinvestment Initiative in Louisiana