Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $49,146)
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 Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) is situated within the Criminal Justice Planning Agency (CJPA). The SAC has been included in the U.S. strategy to participate in the information interchange with regards to criminal justice at the national level since it was established in 1986. Since this time, the SAC has collected and maintained criminal justice data and published the CNMI Crime report on a semi-annual basis. The SAC received FY 2013 SJS funding to reinvigorate its efforts to collect, interpret, analyze, and disseminate criminal justice data for purposes of providing data to inform state-level policymakers decisions about criminal justice needs and initiatives. Prior to FY 2013, the SAC last received BJS funding to support its SJS program in FY 2006 and used other sources of funding in between to support some SAC-related work. Under this award, the SAC will use funds to continue its efforts to expand the SAC's data collection capacity and analytic capabilities. Specifically, funds will support the personnel costs of a Statistical Analyst who will be responsible for managing the administrative functions of the SJS grant and assisting the SAC Director in all phases of the planning and development of SAC-related research. The Analyst's primary responsibility will be to collect, compile, and analyze criminal justice data for dissemination through the CJPA website and the publication of the CNMI Justice Bulletin and the CNMI Crime Report. The CNMI Crime Report is a compilation of data that provides a comprehensive overview of crime patterns that depict when and where crime is likely to occur (month, time of day, day of week, and geographical location), demographic information about persons arrested (age, ethnicity, and sex), and types of crime committed. The SAC's goal is to publish the CNMI Crime Report two times a year. Additionally, the SAC will publish the CNMI Criminal Justice Bulletin on a quarterly basis to provide a snapshot of crime trends occurring within the Territory. Data obtained for the reports will be posted to the SAC website to inform the public about current crime trends and patterns. The reports will be shared with local criminal justice agencies, policymakers, and stakeholders to assist their efforts to make informed, data-driven programmatic and policy decisions. (CA/NCF)