Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $59,658)
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 Wyoming Statistical Analysis Center (WYSAC) is located in the College of Arts and Sciences in the University of Wyoming. Under this award, the Wyoming SAC will conduct activities under the following FY 2014 SJS Core Capacity Building area: Measuring criminal justice system "performance." The WYSAC is requesting funds to assist the Wyoming Department of Corrections (WDOC) in designing a program performance system for their agency. WDOC, at the request of the Governor of Wyoming, plans to design and develop a system of performance measurement. WYSAC will provide expertise in selecting meaningful outcome measures that will help them assess their performance. WDOC (and the WYSAC) see this also as an opportunity to establish a regular (annual) database with clearly defined counting and collection rules, based on methodologically sound social science criteria that will permit continuing analyses of several aspects of criminal justice outcomes statewide. The project goals are to: 1) collaboratively develop a comprehensive set of criminal justice system performance measures; 2) create a sustainable WDOC performance measurement database with scientifically sound outcome measures; 3) regularly analyze and update outcome data; 4) monitor the effectiveness of the system over time and modify data collection as needed to improve the validity of the system; and, 5) provide regular and frequent reports to the Governor's Office. This project will help build capacity to collect and analyze data that supports the state's criminal justice strategic planning, and increase access to important criminal justice statistical data. (CA/NCF)