I’ve been working with Texas Justice Initiative (or TJI, for short) for the last couple months and it’s been a blast. In the past year, TJI has been working on launching a new website. TJI is a non-profit organization dedicated to “collect, vet and publicly release information on criminal justice and policing in Texas while pushing for improved transparency.” Currently, the organization collects and reports data about three main types of incidents that occur in Texas: (1.) Injury of officer(s) and/or civilian(s) in an altercation (2.) Death of officer(s) and/or civilian(s) in an altercation (3.) Death in custody of any individual while they are in a penal institution.
When I first began to explore these three datasets, I thought it was important to give new users to the website more information about the datasets, and moreover details about how we come to compile and feature them on the website. So with the help of Eva Ruth Morvaec (TJI’s fearless founder and leader), I was able to add more details about the origins of the data on the About the Data section of the website. Then, I also investigated TJI’s data processing pipeline (which is all on Github!) and illustrated handy little charts (which you can see on About the Data section of the website) that showcases the steps in the pipeline in more broad, non-Python terms. It was a great exercise in translation for me; I got the opportunity to really understand the underlying mechanics of the TJI engine while also figuring out creative ways to showcase the process. It was also super fun to work with the team and discuss the minutiae of fonts/graphics/colors. A big shoutout to Adobe Illustrator and The Noun Project for their respective roles in this project!