Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $210,298)
The Illinois SAC requests funds for two projects: a) a Core Capacity Building project: Examining Crime Clearance and Conviction Rates using Illinois NIBRS and CHRI repository data, and b) a Special Emphasis project: Expanding the Illinois Criminal Justice data clearinghouse with an Application Programming Interface (API) for Data Scientists. The core capacity project seeks to examine clearance rates, which are of particular interest in providing an overall view of the criminal justice system as they show how crime incidents translate into arrests. Using data from the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS), this project will link incident records to arrest, charge, and conviction records from the Illinois Criminal History Record Information database (CHRI). This project seeks to provide unique information on clearance rates using official data, rather than from media reports or analyses of individual law enforcement agencies. The two major deliverables for this project include: 1) a report on the regional patterns of crime clearance data according to the five defined areas of enquiry, and 2) an accompanying Tableau visualization highlighting the data and any findings of note, including relevant data quality concerns. The special emphasis project seeks to increase the accessibility of Illinois criminal justice system data by developing an API through which these data can be publicly accessed in deidentified aggregate formats. Though the ICJIA SAC has expanded its capacity for API data sharing in the past using SJS funds, the SAC has also recently updated data workflows to be SQL and R-based rather than SPSS and Excel-based. For this reason, it is necessary to create an updated API compatible with current data processing methods, that has an expanded offering of Illinois criminal justice system data. The deliverables for this project include: 1) a cloud-based API featuring aggregated version of all ICJIA data holdings for public access, 2) Tableau dashboard visualizations of data from the API for quick access of high-level summary statistics, and 3) a whitepaper intended for other SACs to use in developing their own APIs for official criminal justice data sharing.