Iowa City, Iowa
The post-booking jail diversion program of Iowa City has been in place for over ten years and has effectively reduced daily jail populations from over 180 inmates in the county jail per day to less than 100. The city wanted to take the next step of a pre-arrest jail diversion program in order to avoid jail time completely.
Iowa City’s police department uses data to discover high users of city services, and connects across departments to create comprehensive profiles of people who pass through Iowa City’s jails. Every offender undergoes a behavioral assessment that lets judges, probation officers, inmates, and attorneys make recommendations of which services (eg, mental health programs) might be most helpful.
The city can also identify those who have had repeated minor offenses and find programs to keep them out of jail. In the future the city hopes to use the data to understand the high utilization of emergency room use, substance abuse, and mobile crisis outreach. This will help police channel offenders to other programs and departments rather than reflexively just seeking to incarcerate them.
Born and raised in Davenport, IA. In 1997, while working tech support for an Internet provider, accepted a job as a police officer in Camanche, IA. Helped local sheriff’s office with computer forensics to identify the suspect in a bomb threat emailed to a high school. Hired by the Iowa City Police Department in 2001 and has been there since.
Works on data projects in his department and in the city’s Housing First initiative.
Let the data tell the story. You might think one piece of information is critical but will be surprised about other things you learn.
On patrol, David carries pairs of clean socks for homeless who might need them.