Coaching Program for Data Driven Criminal Justice Projects - Fall 2016

  • Online
  • For Certification
Starts the week of

September 19th, 2016

Course ends on

November 14th, 2016

Application Deadline

September 9th, 2016

Passionate about Data Driven Criminal Justice Innovation?

  • Are you a state or local government official eager to deliver better services and make better policies informed by data? Are you facing challenges with how to share data ethically and responsibly between agencies or with researchers to accelerate the adoption of criminal justice innovations?
  • Are you a researcher trying to collaborate with government around the use of data to test new approaches to reform?
  • Are you a health or mental health organization wanting to combine data with your criminal justice counterparts to identify super-utilizers of both systems?
  • Are you an advocacy organization that would like to open up access to its collected data for broader research?
  • Are you working on leveraging predictive analytics and developing algorithms to target the delivery of services and interventions?
  • Are you a policymaker looking to develop new guidance on responsible data sharing?

Course Description

The Coaching Program for Data Driven Criminal Justice Projects has support from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and is run in partnership with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (and its efforts to accelerate more city, county and states willing to adopt voluntary, data-driven approaches to improve public health and safety, and reduce unnecessary incarceration).

The program is the second iteration of a successful first-of-its-kind offering earlier in the summer that brought together 20 teams from 12 states in a fortnightly online convening format which included guest lectures by subject matter experts, one-on-one mentoring sessions and peer-to-peer interaction. The program seeks to assist teams and individuals working on empirically-based criminal justice innovation projects, including those working in criminal justice, health, mental health and related agencies as well as researchers and advocates, and who share a common desire to make greater use of data to understand past performance, improve day-to-day operations, and develop innovative approaches to the operations of the criminal justice system.

Perhaps you want to combine arrest data with Medicaid hospitalization data to identify the super-utilizers of both systems? Or you are stuck trying to figure out the applicable legal and privacy protections inhibiting the creation of data exchanges? Maybe you want to identify which social service alternatives to incarceration are working, when and for whom, and which are not? Have you developed a new algorithm for determining pre-trial release?

This program is offered in response to what we are hearing from you about the demand for more help, expertise and capacity building to enable you to make better use of data both to understand past performance and to improve day-to-day operations of criminal justice in your communities.

Every other week for ten weeks, participants will come together to learn both from one another and from experts in responsible data sharing practices. Participants also receive personalized project management coaching designed to help you overcome the specific barriers to implementation you are facing.

The program is intended for those with a data driven criminal justice innovation project in mind. It is not a lecture course in data science but a hands-on, customized coaching and mentoring program for teams or individuals. It is designed to help you bring your project from idea to fruition. The program follows the outlines of our public problem solving method but is flexibly configured to be responsive to your specific needs.

With implementation as our lodestar, we will focus together on developing the essential aspects of the projects at each stage.

Course Format

1 faculty-led session every other week for 2 hours (one hour is with a guest expert and one hour is an all-group session); and a personalized schedule of peer-to-peer and one-on-one coaching sessions.

Online sessions will be held every 2 weeks for 10 weeks.

Course Duration: 10 weeks

More Information

If accepted, participants are asked to complete a questionnaire about their projects to aid with up-front diagnosis of challenges and the design of a customized support curriculum.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Arnold Foundation, the program is free of charge to participants. However, participants are expected to commit to the duration of the program.

More about the first edition of the coaching program for data driven criminal justice projects here.


Faculty Members

Beth Simone Noveck

Founder of The GovLab

Beth Simone Noveck directs The Governance Lab and its MacArthur Research Network on Opening Governance. Funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and, the GovLab strives to improve people’s lives by changing how we govern. The GovLab designs and tests technology, policy and strategies for fostering more open and collaborative approaches to strengthen the ability of people and institutions to work together to solve problems, make decisions, resolve conflict and govern themselves more effectively and legitimately. The Jerry Hultin Global Network Visiting Professor at New York University’s Polytechnic School of Engineering, she was formerly the Jacob K. Javits Visiting Professor at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a visiting professor at the MIT Media Lab. Beth is a professor of law at New York Law School. She served in the White House as the first United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer and director of the White House Open Government Initiative (2009-2011). UK Prime Minister David Cameron appointed her senior advisor for Open Government, and she served on the Obama-Biden transition team. Among projects she’s designed or collaborated on are Unchat, The Do Tank, Peer To Patent,, and the Gov Lab’s Living Labs and training platform, The Academy. A graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, she serves on the Global Commission on Internet Governance and chaired the ICANN Strategy Panel on Multi-Stakeholder Innovation. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Open Contracting Partnership. She was named one of the “Foreign Policy 100″ by Foreign Policy, one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company and one of the “Top Women in Technology” by Huffington Post. She has also been honored by both the National Democratic Institute and Public Knowledge for her work in civic technology. Beth is the author of Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger and Citizens More Powerful, which has also appeared in Arabic, Russian, Chinese and in an audio edition, and co-editor of The State of Play: Law, Games and Virtual Worlds. Her next book Smart Citizens: Smarter State will appear with Harvard University Press. She tweets @bethnoveck.

Stefaan Verhulst

Co-Founder and Chief Research and Development Officer

Stefaan G. Verhulst is Co-Founder and Chief Research and Development Officer of the Governance Laboratory @NYU (GovLab) where he is responsible for building a research foundation on how to transform governance using advances in science and technology. Verhulst’s latest scholarship centers on how technology can improve people’s lives and the creation of more effective and collaborative forms of governance. Specifically, he is interested in the perils and promise of collaborative technologies and how to harness the unprecedented volume of information to advance the public good. Before joining NYU full time, Verhulst spent more than a decade as Chief of Research for the Markle Foundation, where he continues to serve as Senior Advisor. At Markle, an operational foundation based in New York, he was responsible for overseeing strategic research on all the priority areas of the Foundation including, for instance: transforming health care using information and technology, re-engineering government to respond to new national security threats, improving people’s lives in developing countries by connecting them to information networks, developing multi-stakeholder networks to tackle global governance challenges, changing education through information technology et al. Many of Markle’s reports have been translated into legislation and executive orders, and have informed the creation of new organizations and businesses. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Culture and Communications at New York University, Senior Research Fellow for the Center for Media and Communications Studies at Central European University in Budapest; and an Affiliated Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Global Communications Studies at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communications. Previously at Oxford University he co-founded and was the Head of the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy at the Centre for Socio Legal Studies, and also served as Senior Research Fellow of Wolfson College. He is still an emeritus fellow at Oxford. He also taught several years at the London School of Economics. Verhulst was the UNESCO Chairholder in Communications Law and Policy for the UK, a former lecturer on Communications Law and Policy issues in Belgium, and Founder and Co-Director of the International Media and Info-Comms Policy and Law Studies at the University of Glasgow School of Law. He has served as a consultant to numerous international and national organizations, including the Council of Europe, the European Commission, UNESCO, World Bank, UNDP, USAID, the UK Department for International Development among others. He has been a grant recipient of the Bertelsmann Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Markle Foundation. Verhulst has authored and co-authored several books, including: In Search of the Self: Conceptual Approaches to Internet Self Regulation (Routledge, 2001); Convergence in European Communications Regulation (Blackstone, 1999); EC Media Law and Policy (AWL, 1998); Legal Responses to the Changing Media (OUP, 1998); and Broadcasting Reform in India (OUP, 1998). Most recently, he co-edited The Routledge Handbook of Media Law (2013). Verhulst is also founder and editor of numerous journals including the International Journal of Communications Law and Policy, and the Communications Law in Transition Newsletter.


What have you accomplished with the help of the coaching program that you wouldn't have been able to do on your own?

  • “Formulating a problem statement was an invaluable exercise for us. It forced us to really think hard about what we'd like to do and don't know how to do and what we'd like to do but just haven't started trying to do it.”

  • “I've been connected to a lot of folks all over the world who are working on the same problem and I've gotten very valuable feedback about how to implement my project.”

  • “I have been able to use the GovLab Academy Public Projects Canvas. I have also connected with peer support that I would have otherwise not known about.”

  • “The problem statement, the Canvas, to think about Data Responsibility and also to develop a pitch to convince sponsors. Overall, the coaching program helped me to have a better plan to implement.”

  • “The program helped us define the problem we are trying to address. Through the problem definition exercises, we were able to discuss different solutions.”

  • “Define the problem. Breakdown the project to more feasible steps. Focus on the next thing. Come up with a good story”

  • “This process helps us to structure a longer term project which often gets placed on the back burner in lieu of other more pressing deadlines. Having the structure of this project has helped push it along and turn it into a reality”

  • “Connections to industry experts and mentoring that shaped the project goals and structure.”

  • “The feedback on the problem statement has been incredibly useful. I also really appreciated expert feedback on the problem pitch - as it helped us better understand that our project is iterative, and thus has multiple points of success.”

  • “Getting outside critiques and experience, plus a forum that forced us to refine our ideas”

  • “Put me in touch with the New York City Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice.”

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