Sheriff named to U.S. effort to improve justice data

Peter J. Koutoujian, sheriff Koutoujian

Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian has been appointed to the newly formed steering committee to guide Justice Counts, a comprehensive effort to improve the availability and utility of criminal-justice data.

Justice Counts, made possible by the support of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, is a national, consensus-building initiative designed to help policymakers make better decisions with criminal-justice data that’s more timely, less disjointed, and as useful as possible. 

“I am honored to join this important national effort,” said Sheriff Koutoujian.  “The collection, anlaysis, and sharing of realtime data is crucial to enhancing public safety in every jurisdiction across the country.  Access to key metrics will provide policy makers with the ability to make smarter, more informed  decisions on improvements  to our criminal justice system.”

Leading the initiative is the Council of State Governments Justice Center, backed by 21 other partners representing officials nationwide. The steering committee comprises active state and local officials—from law enforcement, to corrections, to legislatures and beyond—who will help the initiative organize available data for each state and ultimately reach consensus about a baseline set of criminal-justice metrics that can drive budget and policy decisions. 

“Justice Counts has assembled an unprecedented coalition of state and local leaders to enhance policymakers’ decisions across our nation’s justice system,” said Georgia Supreme Court Justice Michael P. Boggs, who will chair the steering committee, in a news release. “I’m proud to help mobilize policymakers and stakeholders from across the country to put these metrics to work, and to support the development of the tools they need to help them measure what matters.”

Justice Counts will embark on a scan of public, aggregate criminal justice data to provide policymakers in every state with timely information about their criminal-justice systems, existing gaps in data collection, and opportunities to do better. 

Specifically, the steering committee will guide the following efforts:

  • State data: Aggregate publicly available data from each of the 50 states to provide timely, integrated information and identify opportunities to improve data collection, analysis and reporting.
  • Consensus: Bring state and local leaders together to reach consensus about a baseline set of criminal justice metrics that can inform budget and policy decisions.
  • Resources: Create a range of tools that will enable policymakers and practitioners to improve how their state or locality collects, analyzes, and reports criminal- justice data.

To learn more about Justice Counts, visit the initiative’s website at

This news summary was published Friday, Nov. 27, 2020.