January 25 2022
Elisabeth Shepard, Communications Director
DA Mike Schmidt announces prosecutor attitudes, perspectives, and priorities survey report live for public inspection
PORTLAND, Oregon – Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced that a report following a Prosecutor Attitudes, Perspectives, and Priorities survey conducted last year is live for public inspection.
The survey was conducted both as an anonymous written survey and through one-on-one interviews. It provides qualitative and quantitative data about how prosecutors think about success, racial justice, community engagement, and the use of scientific knowledge as they review and prosecute criminal cases.
It was conducted by Dr. Kelsey Henderson. Dr. Henderson is an Assistant Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice at Portland State University. She received her Ph.D. in Criminology, Law, and Society from the University of Florida in 2016. She conducts research on the American Courts system, specifically focusing on how people make decisions within the legal system.
The findings, while broad and high level, light the way for several avenues to re-envision the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Offices’ (MCDA) role in building a more just and effective office. The Prosecutor Attitudes, Perspectives, and Priorities survey is a key touchstone to MCDA’s larger Prosecutorial Performance Indicators (PPI) project in partnership with Florida International University and Loyola University of Chicago. MCDA is one of just a handful of District Attorney’s offices in the country taking the initiative to lead the way in data transparency through PPIs.
The PPI project aims to provide new measures of prosecutorial success and ameliorate racial and ethnic disparities that can emerge from criminal case processing. This partnership is funded through the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge, which Multnomah County has been part of since the inception of this landmark initiative.
Data transparency has been among DA Mike Schmidt’s top priorities since taking office, developing and publishing the Protest Case and Gun Violence Case data dashboards within his first year as the elected DA. This survey report is the first of what will be a number of data sets made available for public inspection in 2022 through MCDAs PPI project and other data transparency efforts, including a hate crimes dashboard.
Advancing MCDAs and the public’s understanding of Prosecutor Attitudes, Perspectives, and Priorities as the first PPI project is by design.
“The work to end racial disparities in the criminal justice system must start by looking in the mirror and analyzing our own core values and beliefs that guide decision making, and moreover, making those things known to the communities we serve,” DA Mike Schmidt said.
See below for the full Prosecutor Attitudes, Perspectives, and Priorities survey report, including Forward written by DA Mike Schmidt.