On March 11, 2021, Justice Canada published the 2020 State of the Criminal Justice System Report: Focus on Women and new Women’s theme of the online interactive State of the Criminal Justice System Dashboard.
Canada’s State of the Criminal Justice System
The Department of Justice Canada created the first performance monitoring framework for Canada’s criminal justice system in 2019. The State of the Criminal Justice System Framework (“the Framework”) identifies broad expected outcomes, measured by key national indicators. The Framework was built through extensive research, in consultation and collaboration with criminal justice system partners, stakeholders, experts and other Canadians. The Department took on this work as part of its commitment to review the criminal justice system and as part of its broader efforts to identify and address data gaps that hinder evidence-based decision making. The Framework is presented through a State of the Criminal Justice System Report and online Dashboard, in effort to:
- Underscore the importance of having the right data to make decisions that can meaningfully affect the lives of Canadians.
- Improve accountability and transparency about the criminal justice system to Canadians.
- Promote Open Government by making information about the criminal justice system easier to access.
- Identify information gaps that limit the ability to monitor the performance of the criminal justice system.
- Respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s 30th Call to Action, to monitor, evaluate, and report on the progress made in addressing the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in the criminal justice system.
The Framework includes nine broad expected outcomes for the criminal justice system measured by 42 national indicators. Click on the link below to access the State of the Criminal Justice System Dashboard or the State of the Criminal Justice System Annual Reports.
What is the State of the Criminal Justice System Dashboard?
The State of the Criminal Justice System Dashboard presents information from the Framework in one easily accessible location. The Dashboard shows information and data collected for 42 performance indicators grouped by nine outcomes. This information is presented for the total population and by population-based theme. The population-based themes currently available are: Indigenous Peoples and Women. These themes present pre-filtered views of the data by sub-population, such as by Indigenous identity or sex/gender (where data are available). Under each theme, data users can also find contextual information on how different populations interact with the criminal justice system as victims, survivors, accused and offenders. Theme pages for youth are being developed and will be available in the future.
The State of the Criminal Justice System Dashboard will be updated regularly as more data and information become available.
What is the State of the Criminal Justice System Report?
The State of the Criminal Justice System Report presents quantitative data on indicators from the performance monitoring Framework. The inaugural State of the Criminal Justice System Report (2019) provided a comprehensive analysis of criminal justice system performance across key indicators. The same type of report will be released every five years, with annual reports focusing on specific populations, topics or issues in intervening years. These interim reports will help situate performance data in broader social contexts, by drawing from different sources of information.
What is performance monitoring?
Performance monitoring refers to the ongoing regular collection of information to monitor how a system is doing, such as whether and to what extent it is achieving its objectives. Performance monitoring helps identify trends, benchmarks, strengths, and areas for improvement and highlights areas that need more data collected, monitored, and analysed.
Future data development
The Department will continue to work with stakeholders to further refine the Framework as new needs and opportunities for performance monitoring arise. The Framework is a work in progress, with modifications expected as performance measurement capacity and the criminal justice system change.
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