New: Probation Services Online Data Reports

We are excited to publish two new data dashboards for our Probation Services department: Active Probation Caseload and Probation Closed Cases. Seattle Municipal Court is committed to improving our services and furthering our court-wide goals of lessening barriers and increasing equity in the criminal legal system. We began evolving Probation Services in June 2020 in response to findings from a commissioned report, which gave recommendations for how we can most effectively serve our clients based on national best practices.

These dashboards offer key performance indicators for our Probation Services and are published as part of our commitment to transparency in our reform effort, as recommended by the 2020 Probation Services evaluation.

Seattle Municipal Court Probation – Active Caseload

Screenshot of Active Probation Clients by Probation Unit and Months on Probation Supervision to Date charts

As we evolve Probation Services, our goals are to make probation a brief, effective intervention in clients’ lives, and to focus probation services on cases that present a high risk to public safety. This Active Caseload report will be updated monthly and shows the number of current probation clients, length of time on supervision to date, and client demographics.

Screenshot of Proportion of Active Probation Cases by Probation Unit pie chart: 19% Mental Health Unit, 38% Domestic Violence Unit, 43% DUI/Central Unit

The dashboard also includes data on clients assigned probation who are currently in warrant status, and the number of clients assigned to records check status. “Warrant status” means that the client has not kept in contact with the court, and they have a warrant issued on the case. These cases are not considered to be on active probation.

“Records check status” means that the client is having their criminal record monitored by the court for new criminal law violations. This process doesn’t require any contact between the court and the individual and is also not considered active probation.

Seattle Municipal Court Probation – Outcomes for Closed Cases

The Closed Cases report provides data on the reasons for probation case closures, case outcomes, and months on probation supervision. When probation obligations are completed, probation counselors close the case and the person no longer needs to report to the court. Obligations might include engagement in addiction counseling, mental health treatment, or community service hours.

Screenshot of Probation Case Outcome Rates, 2018-2020 bar charts

This dashboard will be updated quarterly and shows how many probation cases were closed because probation was completed, revoked, or closed for administrative reasons. “Revoked” means that the person did not successfully complete their probation. Cases closed for administrative reasons may have been stricken with no penalty or consequences, or closed due to expiration of the court’s jurisdiction on the case.

Our goal is for as many clients as possible to successfully complete probation, without keeping clients on probation for an unnecessarily long period of time. These metrics will help us track whether the changes we’re making in our case management approach are effectively helping clients complete their probation in a reasonable amount of time with positive outcomes.

As we continue evolving Probation Services in 2021, we hope these dashboards will provide a glimpse into the department’s transformation for years to come.