Join Reinvent Albany at NYC School of Data this Sat, March 23


Please join Rachael Fauss, Reinvent Albany’s Senior Policy Advisor and resident open data expert, for two presentations at BetaNYC’s School of Data this Saturday, March 23:

  1. A mainstage panel on NY criminal justice data
  2. A presentation on using FOIL to liberate public data

When: Saturday, March 23, 2024
Where: CUNY School of Law, 2 Ct Square W, Queens, NY 11101
Full Schedule: 

See below for more details on each session.

Panel: Opening NY’s Criminal Courts – Expanding Access to Court Decisions and Criminal Data

The panel will open with a 10-minute presentation about the state of criminal justice data in NY, highlighting Scrutinize and Reinvent Albany’s November 2023 report, Open Criminal Courts, which found that only 6% of criminal court decisions are published online. The presentation will outline the report’s findings, including how the lack of transparency hampers voters’ ability to assess judges, legislative oversight, and legal insight.

Then, a panel of experts will discuss what criminal justice data and information is currently published, how it is made accessible to the public, and what is missing. The panel will also discuss legislative efforts to publish court decisions and improve criminal justice data. Particular focus will be given to privacy considerations.

Panelists (click links to see bios):

  • Rachael Fauss, Senior Policy Advisor, Reinvent Albany
  • Oded Oren, Founder and Executive Director, Scrutinize
  • Raelynn Walker, Assistant Director of Research and Data Processing, Measures for Justice
  • Terry Ding, Staff Attorney, New York Civil Liberties Union

Presentation: FOILing for Data: Using Freedom of Information Requests to Liberate Public Data

Reinvent Albany staffer and frequent FOILer Rachael Fauss will provide School of Data attendees with an overview of New York’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), and tips about how FOIL can be used to get public data that is not currently open or easily made available by government. Efforts to improve the law at the state level through legislation will also be highlighted. The format will be a slideshow presentation with a handout for participants, followed by a Q&A.

No prior experience with the Freedom of Information Law necessary! Students, researchers, policymakers and their staff, and advocates who are interested in government data, but have hit roadblocks to accessing public data are all welcome. We want attendees to come away with a basic understanding of how the state Freedom of Information Law can be used to liberate public data, and some tips to make the process of requesting records a little easier.