This repo is dedicated to the analysis of publicly available court data.
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Class, Race, and Sex in VA Criminal Courts.ipynb

Measured Justice

This repo is dedicated to the analysis of publicly available court data. All of the work here has been done with freely available software. Mostly, it's a collection of notebooks. For people interested in replicating or expanding on this work I've put together this quick start guide for setting up Project Jupyter notebooks.

Download, Install, and Run Notebooks

Download and install Anaconda (a free distro which includes everything you need to use Jupyter). See

  • Open up a terminal/command prompt and navigate to the directory where you want to be working (e.g., /users/yourname/documents/)
  • At the prompt enter:
    • jupyter notebook
  • That should open up a new tab in your web browser.
  • You should see a dropdown menu in the upper right labeled “New.” Click on that, and choose “Python 3” under “Notebooks.”
  • That should open a new notebook. Basically, you put your code in cells and run them as needed. As the Nature article linked above makes clear, this is a great way to collaborate and to keep all your work in one place.
  • Here’s are some example notebooks to get you started. Just cut-and-paste from these examples and start playing.

Common Speed Bumps

If you start to play around and get an error like:

NameError: name 'pd' is not defined

That means that your notebook hasn’t loaded a module with the name ‘pd’. So either, you’re missing something like this:

import numpy as np

or the module isn’t installed on your system. If it’s the latter, you’ll get an error like:

ImportError: No module named 'numpy'

when you try to import the module. To install a module, all you have to do is go to the terminal/command prompt and type:

conda install [module name] For example: conda install numpy

Have fun.