Composite Index

The Justice Index

The Justice Index is a snapshot of the degree to which best practices for ensuring access to the civil and criminal justice systems have been adopted across the country. Specific findings for each of our research areas are displayed and discussed under the tabs shown on the “Findings” menu. This aggregate map gives a summary view of the national and state-by-state commitment to providing access to the civil and criminal courts for some of our most vulnerable populations.

This visualization presents findings on the overall performance of each state in assuring access to justice. Performance is measured on a scale of zero to 100, in which zero reflects a poor performance (which may in part result from the lack of availability of data for the state) and in which 100 reflects a score of 100 on each of the individual indices. The purpose of the visualization is to show the composite index for each state, with the ability to filter and compare the index measurements for each state. Additionally, this visualization provides the break-down of the category indices that comprise the composite. Here are some ways to start navigating the visualization:
  • Select ‘Top’ (or ‘Bottom’) 5, 10 or 25 states (i.e., the states with the highest (lowest) justice index) by choosing the drop-down filter and the sliding scale at the top right corner of the visualization. To reset the filter, slide the sliding scale back to 50.
  • Filter by Region by checking one or more Region checkboxes near the map.
  • To focus on one (or more) states on the map, click and drag the cursor around the states of interest. Zoom in or out using the ‘+’ or ‘-‘ icons respectively on the top left corner of the map. Reset the map by clicking on the blue colored thumb tack on the top left corner of the map. To un-select states, click on an area of the map outside of the states.
  • Select one or more states in the ‘Index distribution’ by clicking on one or more diamonds. To reset the chart, click on an area of the chart outside the diamonds.
  • The horizontal bar charts (below the ‘Index distribution’ chart) can be filtered by clicking on a single bar or clicking and dragging to select multiple states. To sort by one of the bar charts, click the sort icon that appears when the cursor hovers near the x-axis of any of the bar charts. To reset the chart, click on an area of the chart outside of the bars.
Filters, when selected, apply simultaneously to all parts of the visualization (e.g., if ‘NY’ is selected in the map, all other charts will be filtered for ‘NY’ only). Multiple filters may be simultaneously applied.
About This Data Visualization

The Justice Index presents findings on the overall performance of each state in assuring access to justice, based on four categories of research findings. The 50 State Map relies on filtering to show the locations relative to one another of higher and lower performing states, and to compare the performance of states in designated regions of the country. The Distribution of State Scores by Category shows the distribution of scores adjusted to a scale of zero to 100, in which zero reflects a poor performance (which may in part result from the lack of availability of data for the state) and in which 100 reflects a score of 100 on each of the individual indices. The State Scores, Sort by Category ranks states based on their composite scores, while also allowing sorting based on scores on each of the individual indices. The Composition of State Scores shows state performances while revealing the contribution of the scores in individual research categories to the total score.

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