Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $453,432)
This three-year set of projects expands upon the past State Justice Statistics (SJS) Program projects in Washington by leveraging the Justice Database to enrich studies aimed at addressing existing and emerging gaps in criminal justice knowledge. Through partnership with the Education Research and Data Center, the Washington Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) now has access to linked employment, education, court, sentencing, jail, and prison records as well as a standardized process for quickly connecting arrest records. This multi-sector capacity makes the SAC uniquely primed to respond to the challenge presented by COVID-19 and its disruptions to criminal justice data. The use of the Justice Database’s linked data and a recent partnership to improve National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) reporting will enable the SAC to catalogue the anomalies occurring in criminal justice data as a result of the pandemic, and inform longitudinal research for the coming decade. The SAC will also seek to address the state’s understudied jail data, and use it to inform further studies on long-term recidivism trends. All of these studies utilize well-linked criminal justice data to build upon the past successes of the SAC, and seek to answer current questions that are important to state and federal parties.