Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $59,999)
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 Mexico Criminal Justice Analysis Center began operation in June 1988 and later changed its name to the New Mexico Statistical Analysis Center (NMSAC). NMSAC is located within the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at the University of New Mexico. NMSAC is responsible for providing data and technical assistance to criminal justice planners, improving the quality and usefulness of research and planning for criminal justice agencies, and increasing communication between state criminal justice agencies with regard to common issues of research and analysis.
Under this award, the NMSAC will conduct activities under the following Core Capacity area: Measuring criminal justice system "performance." The NMSAC plans to conduct a study to address pretrial detention and case processing in other counties outside of Bernalillo County where most studies have been focused. Using a sample of individuals booked into participating New Mexico county detention centers outside of Bernalillo County between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2013, the SAC will explore the following: 1) Which factors are associated with pretrial decision making? and 2) In what ways is pretrial detention associated with case processing times and decision making independently and in conjunction with legal and extra-legal factors? Findings will be presented in a written document to the NMSAC's Detention Reform and Cost Containment Committee and other key stakeholders for making policy and planning decisions related to pretrial release and prosecution practices. The NMSAC will also conduct an assessment of state criminal history data. The NMSAC will examine the quality and completeness of state criminal history data to assess whether these data accurately reflect arrests and court dispositions. Information gathered will be compared to data from prior assessments to determine whether there has been an improvement in data over time. Match rates between data sources will be calculated. This will help to determine whether the criminal history data are sufficient to accurately describe statewide arrest trends. A report will be written detailing the findings of the assessment. Out-of-state travel expenses are being requested for the SAC Director to attend the 2015 NCJA Conference. (CA/NCF)