Frequently Asked Questions
Why is there so much data missing for the Justice for All theme?
The City Equity Indicators contained 72 indicators total, 24 in each of the three themes of the Ferguson Commission’s report: Justice for All, Youth at the Center, and Opportunity to Thrive. Those 24 indicators were further divided into three topics. As an expansion of the City Equity Indicators, the Regional Equity Indicators Dashboard attempted to use the same indicators. In the Youth at the Center and Opportunity to Thrive themes, this was largely possible. Occasionally, individual indicators were modified or replaced to adapt to the availability and/or structure of the data in the counties studied.
The data for most of the Justice for All indicators came from internal data from the City of St. Louis’ agencies, departments, and offices. These same data were either not aggregated at the county level or not publicly available to the research team working to collect the data for St. Charles, St. Louis, and St. Clair (IL) counties. Of the 24 indicators, we were able to consistently locate analogous data in these counties for less than 5 of them. This was so insubstantial that we made the decision to not report anything in the Justice for All theme. Instead, we are using this opportunity to call for regional partnership and action to improve the quality, quantity, and accessibility of data pertaining to our regional justice system. As a starting point, the data for the Justice for All indicators needs to be available from all courts and police departments and to be available disaggregated by race.
What are the challenges the team faced gathering data for Court Reform?
In the Court Reform topic, the indicators are Municipal Warrants, Pretrial Detention, Incarceration, Probation Population, Legal Representation, Evictions, Driving Status Violation Charges, and Driving Status Violation Convictions. Except for evictions, the data for Court Reform for St. Louis City came from either the St. Louis Municipal Court or the St. Louis Department of Corrections. The structure of courts in St. Charles, St. Clair and St. Louis Counties is more complex with a combination of county and municipal courts in all three jurisdictions:
- There are six vendors processing data for 81 municipal courts in St. Louis County, which are municipal divisions of the St. Louis County Circuit Court, the 21st Judicial Circuit of Missouri.
- The municipal courts in St. Charles County are divisions of the 11th Judicial Circuit of Missouri.
- The St. Clair County Circuit Court is the court for St. Clair County municipalities.
The data must be uniform across these jurisdictional variations to analyze it to create an inequality ratio at the county level and accurately determine the inequality score.
What are the challenges the team faced gathering data for Policing?
In the Policing topic, the indicators are Police Department Representation, Police Applicants, Academy Retention, Police Department Promotions, Traffic Stops, Municipal Arrests, Use of Force, and Crisis Intervention Training. Except for promotions and traffic stops, the data source for all other policing indicators came from the single source of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Promotions data were obtained from the City of St. Louis Personnel Department, and traffic stop data were obtained from the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. The structure of police academies varies across the three counties included in the regional racial equity dashboard:
- The academy in St. Louis County is part of the St. Louis County Police Department.
- The academy in St. Charles County is administered by a nonprofit organization.
- The academy in St. Clair County it is affiliated with a public university.
The police action indicators such as arrests and use of force in St. Charles, St. Clair and St. Louis Counties require data from multiple police departments:
- 9 in St. Charles County
- 23 in St. Clair County
- more than 50 departments in St. Louis County
The data for these indicators is not available in a publicly accessible format from these departments. The original data needs to be obtained from all departments, and they would all need to provide the data disaggregated by race in order to create the inequality ratios.
What are the challenges the team faced gathering data for Civic Engagement?
For the Civic Engagement topic, the indicators are Residential Segregation, Internet Access, Voter Turnout, Neighborhood Associations, Elected Officials Representation, City Management Representation, Calls for Service, and Service Delivery Response Time.
There are several institutional structures unique to St. Louis City that made some of the civic engagement indictors only measurable there – for example, neighborhood associations.
- St. Louis City is organized in 79 neighborhood areas, each of which has a neighborhood association. The other counties included in the regional dashboard do not have such a structure of neighborhood associations.
- In St. Louis City, the Citizen’s Service Bureau is a single resource for routing service requests and answering service questions. There are no comparable functions in the county and municipal governments of the other three counties included in the dashboard.
- The voter turnout indicator compared voter records in majority Black and majority White wards to measure the inequality ratio. The structure of electoral jurisdictions is more complex in St. Charles, St. Clair and St. Louis Counties, with some parts of those counties in incorporated municipal jurisdictions and some parts unincorporated. Some of the municipalities have wards, and some do not. Whatever the electoral structure, there are no majority Black areas in St. Charles County, so the unit of measure is not available.
- The data is available from the U.S. Census to measure the inequality ratio for residential segregation and internet access in St. Charles, St. Clair and St. Louis Counties, but with only two of eight indicators available in the Civic Engagement topic, it is not possible to compute a score for Civic Engagement.