Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s budget includes funding for the Michigan Supreme Court’s (MSC) Statewide Court Data Transparency Project to develop an integrated data collection system for all state courts across Michigan’s 83 counties.

While that may not seem like breaking news, it does break new ground. The court is the first actor in the criminal legal system to use comprehensive, consistent data collection to evaluate policies, identify and address racial inequities and drive systemic improvements. In 2021, then-Chief Justice Bridget McCormack laid out the court’s argument for data integrity in an opinion piece in which she noted, “Anecdotes don’t drive systemic improvements. Data does.”

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