LJAF Awards $1.4 Million for Maryland Criminal Justice Data Center

The Laura and John Arnold Foundation has announced a $1.4 million grant to the University of Maryland in College Park to support the creation of a criminal justice data center.

With the aim of ensuring a fair and cost-effective criminal justice system, the Maryland Data Analysis Center will integrate records from the state's various criminal justice agencies into a centralized database and work to facilitate long-term partnerships between criminal justice agencies and researchers, linking the data and the experiences of those who work in the criminal justice field with scientific analysis to drive evidence-based decisions aimed at improving the system.

To be led by James Lynch, chair of the University of Maryland's Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, MDAC initially will partner with the Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy to examine the use of juvenile records in the sentencing of adults.

"This innovative center will provide stakeholders with the tools to understand not only how their systems are operating, but also what impact their decisions have on public safety," said Anne Milgram, vice president of criminal justice at the foundation. "Our hope is that the Maryland project, if successful, can be replicated nationwide."