Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $59,919)
The State Justice Statistics (SJS) Program is designed to maintain and enhance each state's capacity to address criminal justice issues through collection and analysis of data. The SJS Program provides support to each state to coordinate and conduct statistical activities within the state, conduct research to estimate impacts of legislative and policy changes, and serve as a liaison in assisting BJS to gather data from respondent agencies within their states.
The Virginia Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) is located within the Virginia Criminal Justice Research Center of the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), the State Administering Agency (SAA). Federal funds administered by the SAA include the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program ($4.6 million in FY14), Violence Against Women Act ($2.7 million in FY14), Victims of Crime Act ($2.2 million in FY14), Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (Title II/ V, $555,000 in FY14), Juvenile Accountability Block Grant ($103,000 in FY14), and Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program ($350,000 in FY14). The SAA also administers state funding programs for sexual assault services, victim-witness services, anti-gang and reentry initiatives, Court Appointed Special Advocates, School Resource Officer/School Security Officer programs, and aid to local law enforcement.
Under this award, the SAC will use funds to enhance its data collection and analytic capacity to provide a variety of research and data to assist the SAA's ability to develop data-driven, evidence-based statewide strategic plans for public safety and to more effectively target and monitor federal grant funds distributed by the SAA. SJS funds will also substantially increase the number of data sources accessible to and used by the SAC and improve data quality. Specifically, the SAC will use funds to complete three distinct projects to accomplish these overarching goals: 1) Improve Capacity to Conduct Research Using Virginia Incident-Based Crime Data Compatible with the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). The SAC will conduct a NIBRS data quality review, develop the capacity to produce quarterly statewide NIBRS reports on a variety of special topic areas, and use NIBRS data to produce more in-depth analyses on priority topic areas to the SAA and state policymakers, including research on school and campus safety, gangs, crimes against the elderly, and human trafficking; 2) Increase Use of Administrative/Operation Data for Research Use. The SAC will use funds to increase its capacity to use administrative data for research purposes, identify new data sources, formalize relationships with the providing agencies, and publish reports on the uses of this data, notably for research on forensic drug sample submissions, jail inmate population data, school discipline, crime, and violence, and crime victim services; and 3) Increase Access to NIBRS and Other Statistical Data. The SAC will use funds to enhance its website to make criminal justice and other data directly available to constituents by adding user interactivity and new data elements. (CA/NCF)