Measuring Progress Toward Safety and Justice A Global Guide to the Design of Performance Indicators Across the Justice Sector


Produced by a team of researchers at the Vera Institute, this guide to the design of performance indicators is written for government officials and program managers around the world who want to improve the delivery of safety, security, and access to justice. In plain language, the Guide describes how to develop practical and effective indicators in both data-poor and data-rich environments, starting with the desired outcome. Specific chapters explore the role of indicators in measuring progress in the safety and justice sector as a whole, within specific state institutions ranging from law enforcement to prisons, and among the wide variety of non-state justice institutions. Each chapter describes:

1. Traditional indicators used to measure performance across the justice sector or within a particular institution; 

2. Provides examples of specific policy goals that require new indicators; 

3. Suggests innovative indicators capable of reflecting progress towards those goals and possible sources of data; 

4. Discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the suggested indicators.


Photo by Lucy Nicholson (REUTERS)

People in Jail and Prison in Spring 2021

Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) researchers collected data on the number of people in local jails and state and federal prisons throughout 2020 and into spring 2021. Vera researchers estimated the incarcerated population using a sample of approximately 1,600 jail jurisdictions, 50 states, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the U.S. Marshals Service (U ...

  • Jacob Kang-Brown, Chase Montagnet, Jasmine Heiss
June 07, 2021