Insights with Impact Blog

Data Dissemination: ACLU & Anderson Robbins Partner to Improve the Criminal Justice System

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By Francy Wade

It’s crowded out there in the media landscape. Our eyeballs and brains are exhausted by what we read and see on traditional platforms and social media. If you want to make news, change minds or influence people it’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words. If that adage is true, I would argue that a data point is worth ten-thousand.

This summer, we helped one of our long-time partners the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts, launch their “What a Difference a DA Makes” campaign. Using our data as the basis for change, the ACLU developed this initiative to educate voters about the powers of district attorneys, and how voters can hold prosecutors accountable and encourage them to be fair and just.

We worked with the ACLU to find out what Massachusetts voters think of the State’s criminal justice system. Only 48 percent of those surveyed said the system is working, while 73 percent – including roughly equal numbers of Democrats, Republicans and Independents – said the system works differently for different people. The dissatisfaction with the status quo resonated with reporters who used the data to write headlines and put meat onto the bones of their stories.

Whether it is criminal or social justice, the environment or bettering the education system, at Anderson Robbins Research we take pride in our passion for issues that mean something to us. It isn’t easy to help influence opinions in these areas, but it is our mission to help organizations do it because of our ability to both understand data and how to spread it.