Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $162,989)
The Virginia SAC proposes two complementary projects. The first is designed to improve the SAC’s ability to analyze and report trends in violent and drug crimes, and drug overdose fatalities. The second will develop an expanded capacity for the SAC to obtain and analyze jail data. The first project has two subprojects: 1) improve the SAC’s ability to understand trends in simple and aggravated assaults, and describe any relationships between simple assault, aggravated assault, and homicide; and 2) compare trends in drug submissions to the Virginia Department of Forensic Science (DFS) to trends in crime and drug overdose fatalities. The SAC will analyze NIBRS data, DFS data, and data from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to assess these and other trends. The second project will create an expanded capacity for the SAC to obtain and analyze data from Virginia’s Local Inmate Data System (LIDS), which contains all data on individuals held in Virginia’s jails. LIDS is maintained by Virginia’s Compensation Board (Comp Board), which has a small staff and does not have a public safety focus. This project would involve analysts from both agencies working together to determine the most efficient and effective manner of compiling and sharing the data. This would allow the SAC to study issues of interest to Virginia’s policymakers, such as how trends in pretrial commitments for assault and homicide change over time regarding accompanying drug and weapons charges, across jurisdictions.