What is Dostoevsky?
Dostoevsky is a free platform that provides instant access to the statistics on criminal cases in Russia since 2009. We collect, process, and visualize publicly accessible data sets so that you could easily keep track of the developments in Russian justice.
Can’t I find this data on my own?
Yes, you can. All the data that Dostoevsky has are generated based on the official statistics of the Judicial Department at the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation. However, this information is originally published in the form of dozens of illegible sheets: in order to conduct a thorough analysis, a skilled professional would need hours, if not days of work.
We took the criminal statistics, cleaned it from contradictions and double entries, unified the design and created a comprehensive data set, having added research articles and infographics. All of this can be downloaded from the website and used under a Creative Commons 4.0 license.
Why do we need to process the information about criminal cases?
So that we could have a better understanding of where the society is headed and how effectively and transparently the state operates. We believe that Dostoevsky will help users to figure out the inner workings of Russian legal system and that hard data, user-friendly interface and ready-made analysis will contribute to humanization of criminal justice, to quality improvement of the legislative process, to the openness of the judiciary, and to setting the social stage for future reforms.
How to navigate here? / How does it work?
The main thing about Dostoevsky is an easy-to-use database of Russian criminal statistics from 2009 to 2020.Every article of the Criminal Code in the catalogue has its own designated page with sheets and infographics on the law enforcement timeline, offences and types of sentences. If you need information on other parameters - year, penalty type, number of cases reviewed - you can access the whole data set.
In addition, we have compiled a Glossary where the main legal terms are explained in layperson’s terms, as well as created pop-up tips: just by putting the cursor on the term you can see its definition.
For you not to waste your time on calculations, we publish the most significant conclusions from the whole data set analysis in the Analytics section. We also have a Blog where we publish data analysts’ columns and tell you about trends and particularities of Russian criminal justice.
Who is this platform for?
Our statistics can be used for news about individual high-profile cases, as well as for in-depth analytical pieces on topics of public importance, such as violence, corruption, drug policy. Dostoevsky provides the possibility to obtain all the data necessary for a piece swiftly and with ease.
Researchers and students
Judicial statistics data is an inexhaustible source for analysing the workings of the legal system and the law enforcement practice. Objective and official information, a documented methodology of data cleaning and data consolidation, as well as publishing the respective open source scripts make Dostoevsky a handy tool for scientific research.
Legal community and human rights defenders
With the help of Dostoevsky, lawyers can conduct a quick analysis of possible outcomes of a criminal case, and human rights defenders can analyse the law enforcement practice and use the obtained information in their work.
Who works on Dostoevsky?
The idea of Dostoevsky was born within OVD-Info, a media project defending human rights, in 2015. For over three years the project’s analytics have been studying the judicial statistics using it in their reports and published pieces. In 2018, the group called Data for Society joined the project. Data for Society is an independent initiative of journalists and software specialists, the goal of which is to reinforce human rights defending, media and scientific groups using IT-solutions for processing publicly accessible data.
Our project was made possible thanks to the work of dozens of people - lawyers, data analysts, developers, designers, journalists and managers, as well as to the diligent work of the Judicial Department at the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation which is tirelessly maintaining records of crimes and punishments in Russia. Thank you!