Resident Corrections Analysts Initiative

Helping states increase data utility by placing data analysts on site at departments of corrections

The Problem

Corrections agencies allocate significant time on a daily basis for collecting data to track their populations. They also invest large sums of money in building and maintaining data management systems to warehouse that data.

At the same time, corrections leaders regularly make high-stakes population management decisions using the best information available to them in the moment. And they develop long-term plans and advocate to policymakers to support them with funding, staffing, and other resources.

However, many agencies lack staff time and resources to proactively use the data they collect to regularly inform their operations and provide decision-makers with meaningful data analysis that synthesizes collected data with system trends to inform these types of important decisions.

How We Can Help

As part of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI), The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center is working with the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance to place data analysts in residence at state departments of corrections (DOCs). The analysts will help those agencies develop their data analysis capacity and increase the utility of data for decision-making while also building the corrections analyst workforce.

The analysts help DOC leadership build out their data infrastructure and more fully integrate the use of data analysis practices, tools, and reporting into their daily operations and management. This helps DOC staff better understand their systems and use data-driven decision-making to improve outcomes for people under their charge, increase safety, and plan more efficiently.

Learn more about what the project involves. 

Please reach out to Sara Friedman at if you have any questions about the project.

Key Staff

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Program Director, State Initiatives
Sara Friedman oversees a portfolio of projects that help state leaders improve outcomes and reduce recidivism by building and implementing technology for data-driven decision-making. Prior to this role, she led teams of CSG Justice Center staff who helped states adopt
and measure research-driven criminal justice policy and practice changes through the Justice Reinvestment Initiative. Previously, Sara was the director of resource development at an alternative-to-incarceration nonprofit, focusing on grant writing, program development, and building organizational capacity through data collection and program evaluation. Sara earned her BA from University of Pennsylvania and her MPA from New York University.  
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    Data Science Program Director, Research
    Chris Callaghan is a data scientist with experience in data management, visualization, modeling, and communication in R and Python. Before joining the CSG Justice Center, Chris worked as a faculty researcher for the U.S. Navy at the Naval Postgraduate School
    in Monterey, CA, where he supported research efforts on homeland security and defense through the lens of data science. He has taught courses on data analysis and visualization methodologies for military, law enforcement, and international defense and security partners. Chris earned his BS in biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an MPA from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
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    BJA logoThis project was supported by Grant No. 15PBJA-21-GK-04348-JRIX awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the SMART Office. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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