Founded by the Center for Investigative Reporting

California prisoner assessment API

Since 2006, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has conducted psychological assessments on convicts as they enter the prison system. The state uses inmates' answers to measure their level of criminal thinking and their need for substance abuse treatment education.

You can use the data from this interactive to build your own applications.

Incoming California inmates

Incoming inmates API schema

This API includes more than 49,000 inmates who were in California's prisons as of March 31. The API includes each inmate's COMPAS score for substance abuse, criminal thinking and education. A score of 1 indicates "low risk," 2 indicates "moderate risk" and 3 indicates "high risk." The API also includes each prisoner's gender, age and crime (the inmate's "principal offense," the conviction that resulted in their prison sentence).

Crime types

Crime types API schema

This API can be used to show which crimes (see below) our interactive has categorized as violent, property, controlled substances and other.


Crimes API schema

This API can be used to retrieve the information used in the main interactive. Each crime is created by grouping similar state criminal statutes (see below) into manageable groups. For each crime, the API returns statistics on the number of incoming inmates whose principal offense is covered by that crime, along with the number of inmates who scored "high risk" in substance abuse, criminal thinking or education. Please note that the data provided by the state is missing many education scores, so a separate count of inmates with any score is provided for substance abuse, criminal thinking and education. This API also includes information about the age, gender and ethnicity of inmates assigned to each crime.


Statutes API schema

This API can be used to determine which statutes were matched to a given crime. A complete list of crime-to-statute matches is available here, but the API can be used to access this information from your application.

More information

If you have additional technical programming questions about the API, please contact Michael Corey. For questions about the underlying data, please contact Coulter Jones.


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