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New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

Grewal announces new office tasked with gathering, publishing criminal justice statistics

By Nikita Biryukov, June 28 2021 12:02 pm

New Jersey’s top prosecutor is making another play to increase transparency in the criminal justice system.

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal on Monday announced the launch of the Office of Justice Data, a new officer within the Department of Law & Public Safety that will collect and publish crime and public safety statistics.

“We’re committed to making New Jersey a national leader in the collection and analysis of criminal justice data,” Grewal said. “To make good policy, we need good data, and the creation of this office reinforces our commitment to evidence-based policymaking. I’m delighted that Dr. Golden has agreed to take on this important new task.”

Kristin Golden, a longtime special investigator in the Office of Law Enforcement Professional Standards, will head the new office, which is tasked with compiling data on criminal defendants, asset forfeiture compliance, officer suicides, drug monitoring and diversity in police ranks, among other things.

In her previous role, Golden was responsible for collecting and analyzing data related to New Jersey State Police compliance with internal regulations. She supervised the development of a dashboard allowing residents to review use of force incidents involving police.

She has doctorate degree in criminology and criminal justice.

“Data analysis gives us the opportunity to review where we’ve been, understand where we are, and plan for where we want to go,” Golden said. “Data are vital to transparency and trust, allowing us to make meaningful assessments of performance and develop more informed policies and practices. I look forward to our upcoming data focused initiatives and am grateful for the opportunity to serve as the Chief Data Officer and impact the way we use data in New Jersey.”

The office is hiring four research scientists.

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