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2014 NYS Justice Statistics Program: Alternative to Incarceration Evaluation System

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $60,000)

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 New York Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) is located within the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) Office of Justice Research and Performance (OJRP). DCJS is housed within the Executive Department under the Executive Branch, headed by the Governor. OJRP conducts research and evaluation, statistical and data analyses, and performance measurement for executive policymakers, state and local criminal justice agencies, and the public. DCJS is committed to supporting programs that reduce crime, recidivism, and victimization and limit the use of costly jail and prison beds to those who pose a risk to public safety. Seeking to promote programs that return the highest rate of public safety at the lowest cost, DCJS has implemented Results First, a computerized cost-benefit analysis (CBA) tool that enables the state to more accurately forecast the public safety and fiscal impacts of criminal justice interventions. Over the past year, the the SAC has used the Results First cost-benefit model to perform complex outcome simulations and produce reports that help decision makers quantify how much public safety a particular intervention is buying. As a result, DCJS launched a new Alternative to Incarceration initiative to target limited criminal justice dollars for individuals at the greatest risk of continued criminal conduct. ATI, which includes Alternative to Detention, jail-based programs and reentry programs, entailed a reorientation of existing resources and capacity building on the part of DCJS. There are several funding streams for over 100 ATI programs. SJS funds will support SAC efforts to implement a long-term fidelity and evaluation strategy to assess the state's ATI programs and ensure the implementation and management of high-quality programs. The SAC will utilize a targeted approach to accomplish this process by completing a program evaluation plan and a program fidelity plan. The program evaluation will confirm target populations and risk levels, estimate effect sizes for a cost benefit analysis, compare recidivism outcomes, inform funding decisions, and provide quarterly feedback to programs. The fidelity plan will assess programs' adherence to the principles of effective correctional intervention and provides for technical assistance. The project outcomes will provide a valuable mechanism for collecting, maintaining, analyzing and publishing evaluation and fidelity performance on ATI programming in New York State. Specifically, the SAC will use funds to develop and improve criminal justice performance measures inform program decisions designed to reduce recidivism and victimization by properly targeting the needs of offenders, create and disseminiate reports to ATI programs to inform them about participants' demographic and offense type characteristics and outcome measures (e.g., recidivism), and develop a centralized database to maintain ATI program and client data. (CA/NCF)

Date Created: September 9, 2014