ALMA CASTRO
Deputy Director, Innovation Team

City of Long Beach, California

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2018
12:00 – 1:15pm | Room E51-095
70 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA

RSVP here by Monday, February 5th. Lunch will be provided.

Description: This January, the City of Long Beach launched a first-of-its kind Justice Lab to provide new tools to first responders to divert residents in need out of the criminal justice system and toward much-needed resources like treatment and care. Over the past year, the City of Long Beach’s Innovation Team (i-team) has been working with police, fire, health, and the city prosecutor’s office to better identify and address public safety issues. Currently, the city sees the same people cycling through their public safety services, so the i-team analyzed over 100,000 offenses and found that 85% of these repeat offenses were misdemeanors. To address the cycle of incarceration, the city created the Justice Lab to re-design how partners in the Public Safety Continuum work together. The Justice Lab aims to connect individuals with needed services at multiple points along the continuum. First responders like police officers and firefighters until now have had few tools to help individuals in need, who often wind up in a deepening cycle of arrest and incarceration.

You can read their latest press release here.

Alma Castro obtained her Master in Public Administration from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University in 2011. In her current role as i-team Deputy Director, Alma works with colleagues across city government, the community, and the private sector to solve city-based challenges.

The City of Long Beach Innovation Team (i-team) was launched in May of 2015 and extends the city’s capacity to rapidly advance research and development through a data-driven and transparent approach to innovation. In 2017, the i-team shifted its focus from economic development to public safety and works with partners both inside and outside of city government to develop new approaches to solving urban challenges.

The Data Science to Solve Social Problems series features practitioners who are applying data science techniques to real-world social problems. This series aims to promote dialogue and collaboration between social scientists and data analysts / engineers working on innovative projects. For more information on speakers and to get involved, contact us at govlab-ds3p@mit.edu.