Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $999,960)
The aim of the National NIBRS Estimation Project (NNEP) is to produce national and subnational estimates of crimes reported to police and their associated characteristics based on the set of law enforcement agencies who submit data to the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) through the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Beginning with the 2021 data year, with the sunset of the Summary Reporting System, the estimates produced through the NNEP are used for the official crime statistics reported by the FBI and for detailed reports on characteristics of crimes reported to the policed produced by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. As the official statistics on crime reported to the police, the NNEP is beneficial to policy makers, law enforcement agencies, researchers, and the general public.
The NNEP, which began in 2017, has completed the first two phases of development: (1) the development of the statistical methodology used to produce representative estimates for a key set of NIBRS indicators at the national and subnational levels; and (2) the creation of an estimation system, based solely on open-sourced software, that computes and integrate the various components of the statistical methodology needed to produce the NIBRS estimates. These first two phases, conducted by RTI International, culminated in the production of the 2021 Uniform Crime Statistics on the number of offenses and arrests in the United States.
Beginning in 2022, the NNEP, which will continue to be conducted by RTI, will shift into its next phase, which will have two components. The first of these will be to maintain the current system and produce the 2022 UCR statistics. As agencies are expected to continue transitioning to NIBRS, methodologies will be adjusted to maximize the geographic areas for which estimates can be produced, and the estimation system will be optimized to accommodate the increased number of incidents. In the second component, new methodologies will be developed to further enhance the utility of the NIBRS estimation system. This component will consist of several research areas including the expansion of the indicators reported through the NNEP; expansion of the geographic areas for which estimates are produced; enhancements to the estimation procedures, including how bias is estimated; the expansion of NIBRS data elements that can be imputed; and additional optimization procedures for the estimation system. Where possible, these enhancements will be built into the estimation system and incorporated into the 2022 data year or later UCR statistics.