Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $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.
Utahs State Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) is located in the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ) and has been established in CCJJ since the inception of the SAC program in the state. CCJJs primary responsibility is to coordinate criminal justice policy throughout the state.
Under the Core Capacity priority area, the SAC will conduct two projects. The first project will focus on measuring criminal justice system performance and increasing access to statistical data with the creation of a Utah Justice Operations and Recidivism (UJOR) data warehouse. The second project will also address increasing access to statistical data by enhancing the CCJJ Research website.
In January 2014, Utah Governor Gary Herbert called on CCJJ to develop a plan to better assess and reduce offender recidivism in the state. The Utah SAC, will use SJS funds to create a UJOR data warehouse, with corresponding web-based tools and dashboards, to link information for the purposes of short-term justice operations tracking/monitoring and long-term recidivism analysis. Through this tool, users will be able to obtain information on recidivism based on type of offender, type of offense committed, and type of recidivism. In addition to the recidivism information, users will be able to track the goals and outcomes of the treatment programs used, whether incentives and sanctions were provided, and determine if participants were eligible to earn probation and parole time credits for completing programs. The long-term tracking of recidivism cohorts will allow for assessing the impact of Utahs criminal justice reforms over time, while also informing agencies about certain subgroups of offenders that may need additional resources provided to them.
The SAC website has not been updated in many years. SJS funds will be utilized to enhance the CCJJ Research website, including reorganization and several other interactive crime data tools for use by the public and other interested parties. The website will also contain the hub for the proposed data warehouse (project 1), which will be made available to approved users in CCJJ and partner agencies, along with other summary dashboards that provide system accountability to the public.