The Aug. 26 editorial “Local prosecutors’ crucial role” was right to call for the Biden administration to focus on prosecutorial reform. These local officials play a critical role in efforts to reverse mass incarceration, confront racial disparities and end unnecessarily harsh punishments in the criminal justice system. 

However, we lack much of the basic data necessary to accurately assess these offices, set standards and measure outcomes. A recent paper by Measures for Justice found that of 20 states studied, only two had information available about the pretrial process, including bail, detention and release practices. Any attempt at lasting, substantial reform to the criminal justice system will require us to build out and improve our data infrastructure.

To that end, the White House needs not only a task force to reimagine prosecution, as recommended by Fair and Just Prosecution, but also a commission on criminal justice data modernization.   

Jeremy Travis, New York

The writer is executive vice
president of criminal justice
for Arnold Ventures.