Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $75,000)
The Utah SAC proposes a second continuation of the 2019 SJS project, which is studying and planning the feasibility of bringing together local county jail offender management systems into some form of a statewide jail data system. The first continuation built on this work to include mandates from the Utah Legislature (passed during the 2020 Legislative Session) to also extend data collection to county prosecutor decisions. This next continuation proposal includes newer legislative mandates (passed during the 2021 Session) to further extend planning, data collection, and integration efforts to all local law enforcement activity, consistent with the goals of the original project. Currently, all 29 county prosecutors (as well as municipal prosecutors), 25 counties with jails, and all local police departments and Sheriff’s offices operate their own independent record management systems, with no means to connect them together or for state agencies, researchers, or policy makers to easily and efficiently access data to track populations, decisions, and offender outcomes. The Utah SAC and SAA have already hired an experienced project manager to assess the status of all county jail and prosecutor data systems along with the data needs of CCJJ, other statewide agencies, and the counties, to determine if these systems and the needs are amenable to a larger system of more efficient data sharing and/or integration. This assessment and planning process will now be extended to include local law enforcement agencies and their disparate records management systems. The result of these projects will be a joint plan for moving forward toward a better way of sharing data from local and county sources (jails, prosecutors, and law enforcement) to statewide agencies and policy makers, with various options for more efficient data sharing and management. This plan will be used by CCJJ to inform future applications for grant funding (e.g., NCHIP) and for funding requests to the Legislature. This project builds on current and previous efforts by CCJJ to improve sharing and access to important criminal and juvenile justice data to inform policy and decision making at the state level.