During a press conference Wednesday, Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy announced a new project to analyze criminal prosecutions in the county and ensure fairness in criminal justice.
“As State’s Attorney for Montgomery County, my primary objective is to maintain public safety for all members of our diverse community,” McCarthy said in a statement. “Critical to that mission is ensuring that criminal prosecutions are handled fairly and equitably across racial and ethnic lines.”
This fall, the county will partner with University of Maryland (UMD) researchers and Prosecutorial Performance Indicators (PPI) to launch the project.
“We will be evaluating data from several critical decision points including but not limited to charging decisions, plea offers, case disposition and sentencing recommendations for all felony cases over a two-year period,” McCarthy said. After the data analysis is complete, a report with findings will be issued.
The county and PPI will also work to implement sustainable community engagement to create trust in the county’s criminal justice system. PPI will help organize listening tours with community groups.
“From information gained during those tours, we will create a community advisory board which will make policy recommendations, express community concerns and help with the creation of a data dashboard to increase transparency and inform the public about the Montgomery County criminal justice system.”
The community advisory board will work with the county and PPI to enforce policy recommendations.
“Through this partnership, I believe we can continue to improve the ways in which we promote justice and protect public safety for everyone in our community,” McCarthy said.