British Columbians can now access court statistics, supporting a better understanding of B.C.'s justice system, increasing transparency and assisting citizens in participating in the recently announced justice reform initiative. The new data dashboard - located at www.JusticeBC.ca
- is an interactive data visualization tool that features five years of provincial, regional and local court statistics, displayed on a map and broken down into easily accessible and user-friendly graphs and pie charts. Going forward, more statistics, including those from police and corrections, are expected to be added.
The statistics included on the data dashboard help to inform some of the challenges that B.C.'s justice system is facing. The province's crime rate has declined at a faster rate than in any other province, falling by 33 per cent since 2004 to its lowest point in nearly 40 years. The number of new Provincial Court criminal cases has declined, and the length of adult and youth criminal cases has remained stable. Court procedures have been streamlined with advancements in technology, and yet costs and case delays continue to rise.
This information resource, along with the recently announced independent reviews of B.C.'s justice system, legal aid system and criminal charge assessment process, are all intended to increase awareness about the justice system's operations and progress. Ensuring the public and stakeholders have all the information possible about B.C.'s justice system will help generate broader, forward- looking ideas around justice system modernization and reform.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond -
"By making these data sets publicly available through a user-friendly, dashboard format, we continue to promote transparency and help create a broader understanding of the challenges B.C.'s justice system is facing. It is also an opportunity for the public and stakeholders to use and analyze the data in order to come up with their own ideas for reform."
"Through the Justice Reform Initiative, government will continue to work with all justice sector participants to look for innovative and fiscally responsible solutions to give British Columbians the timely and efficient access to justice that they deserve."
* The statistics available on the dashboard include:
o New court cases.
o Scheduled court appearances.
o Concluded Provincial Court cases
o Provincewide breakdown of Provincial Court criminal cases by length of time to conclude.
o Location breakdown of Provincial Court criminal cases by length of time to conclude.
o Median time to conclude Provincial Court criminal cases.
o Court sitting hours.
o Civil court documents filed.
* Users can drill down and search the court statistics from a particular region or individual courthouse location, or they may choose to take a look at the bigger picture of what happened in a specific fiscal year or in a particular level of court.
* The raw data for these measures has also been added to other publicly released data about the justice system at www.data.gov.bc.ca
- the Province's DataBC website.
* British Columbia was the first province to create a site like DataBC, a catalogue of close to 2,700 (and growing daily) government generated data sets that are free, searchable and available for anyone to use.
* B.C.'s Open Government initiatives have resulted in government sharing more information with its citizens, and have provided more opportunities for them to participate in decisions that make a difference in their lives.
* The Province recently won the silver medal at the Institute of Public Administration (IPAC)/Deloitte Public Sector Leadership Awards, for the work done to develop and implement B.C.'s Open Government policy, including the DataBC website.
* Data dashboard and more information about B.C.'s criminal justice system: www.justicebc.ca
* Join the conversation about justice reform in B.C.: www.bcjusticereform.ca
* Government's news release and Green Paper on justice system reform: www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/201