Greetings, PDAP community!
We've been busy. This edition, we'll cover our progress on the mission, spotlight Data Sources and opportunities from our community, and share a fundraising update.
Our team continues to make progress towards the vision: when you ask PDAP a question about the police system, we can tell you what kinds of records to seek out, how to access them, and whether we know of potential collaborators. We do this already, but our team is building custom tools to scale the work.
A Pennsylvania court ruled that autopsy reports are public, in a case where a journalist was attempting to research a person who died in the Allegheny County Jail. When someone dies in state custody, we shouldn't have trouble accessing records about the incident.
Massachusetts released police disciplinary records dating back decades. Transparency gold star!
This little agency in Tennessee sent us a department roster in response to a FOIA request we made on behalf of a researcher. Thanks, Rockwood!
Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, this same information is deemed too dangerous to release due to concerns over undercover officers. We think those responsible for the data should have a way to keep undercover officers anonymous when public rosters are published, rather than blocking access entirely.
This Urban Institute grant could work for you if your organization works on equity in the criminal legal system. If you need data help, consider a partnership with PDAP.
This Impact Labs fellowship is intended for young people interested in using technology to shape the future.
For the first time, we've been proactively seeking individual donations from our networks, and it's starting to pay off. We have received 13 donations since our last newsletter, and 7 of those came in October! Thank you, dear donors, for your support.
Our fundraising goal for the last quarter of 2023 is $100,000. If you believe it should be easy for people to investigate police systems, please consider donating today—or, just as powerful, share our work with someone who might be interested in police transparency.
That's all for now. As always, you can reply with questions or comments. Thanks for reading!
—Josh from PDAP