Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $222,359)
The Wyoming Statistical Analysis Center (WYSAC) is located within the College of Arts and Science at the University of Wyoming. The WYSAC will use FY21 SJS funds for one Core Capacity project with three coordinated efforts. First, it will expand its collection of juvenile justice data with a jail roster module. The jail roster module will add data on juveniles who are detained or confined in a secure detention facility, correctional facility, or institution, and the electronic data collection will standardize data collection in the juvenile justice system. This addition will enable WYSAC to follow juveniles’ movement through the entire justice system. The second component of this project will assess the alignment of juvenile diversion programs with the research literature and best practices. Third, WYSAC will assess the participation and recidivism rates for youth in diversion programs, with the intention of evaluating success using an equity approach using socio-demographic variables (age, race/ethnicity, gender). WYSAC will conduct site visits to the diversion programs to share program-specific data with them on participation and recidivism rates, and to discuss their programs’ alignment with best practices. During these visits, WYSAC will facilitate each program’s use of data and information on best practices to inform their policies and practices. The WYSAC will also use FY21 SJS funds for a Special Emphasis project that will examine offenders' criminal histories involving alcohol to explore patterns of criminal behavior and alcohol abuse in Wyoming. The purpose for this one-time analysis is to work with new data and new partners in the state to estimate the extent that alcohol abuse influences an offender’s cycle of reoffending and provide justification for addressing the pattern. The project will involve WYSAC to establish a data exchange and conduct a systematic data quality assessment. The project builds on WYSAC’s capacity to link Wyoming’s criminal history records to criminal justice data by adding two new sources of data (alcohol-related crime and county arrest data). The project will aid state, county, and municipal courts in evaluating sentencing practices; disseminate findings to Wyoming sheriffs to assist them in using data to break the cycle of alcohol abuse and crime; and strengthen data collection and coordination among law enforcement agencies.