From arrest to sentencing: How to analyze trends and make comparisons in crime stats (Sponsored by Criminal Justice Journalists)

  • Event: 2016 CAR Conference
  • Speakers: Chad Day of The Wall Street Journal; Kim English of Colorado Division of Criminal Justice; Paula Lavigne of ESPN; Ted Gest of Criminal Justice Journalists
  • Date/Time: Thursday, Mar. 10 at 3:30pm
  • Location: Colorado F
  • Audio file: Only members can listen to conference audio

**Moderated by Ted Gest, Criminal Justice Journalists

This panel will cover a variety of criminal justice issues. One journalist will discuss the "veil of secrecy" of juvenile justice systems and how we can obtain data showing how youths are being treated there; another will talk about how comparing crime stats across jurisdictions may have less to do with actual crime and more to do with state laws, police attitudes, public records laws and community sensibilities. A state official will tell us about a handful of key resources for accessing statistics on crime and the justice system's response, highlighting the value of available data and the challenges public officials face in answering key questions. Finally, we'll learn about the third edition of a book IRE is publishing now on "Understanding Crime Statistics."

Read a recap of this session on the CAR Conference blog

Speaker Bios

  • Chad Day covers the 2020 campaign and money in politics for The Wall Street Journal. He was previously a reporter on The AP's investigative team covering the Russia investigation and the Trump administration. @ChadSDay

  • Kim English is research director for the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice in the Department of Public Safety. She supervises a staff of researchers engaged in correctional population forecasts, program evaluation, policy analysis, risk scale development, and other research and analysis activities. She is a member of the state Sex Offender Management Board and sits on the National Academy of Science's panel on Modernizing the Nation's Crime Statistics.

  • Ted Gest is president of Criminal Justice Journalists and Washington bureau chief of, which publishes a daily news digest on criminal justice. He formerly covered criminal justice for U.S. News & World Report and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He is the co-author of the latest edition of IRE's "Understanding Crime and Justice Statistics: A Reporter's Guide." 

  • Paula Lavigne has been an investigative reporter for ESPN since 2008, working for both digital and TV. She has a background in data journalism. Her work has been recognized with several awards including a Peabody, duPont and IRE's first sports investigation award. Prior to ESPN, she worked at newspapers in Dallas; Des Moines, Iowa; and Tacoma, Wash. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska and Creighton University.   

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