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.
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: Other Capacity Building Project Identified by the SAC. The NMSAC will conduct a study examining probation and parole violations and revocations with a particular emphasis on absconding. The sample will include all individuals who began either probation or parole between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2012. This cohort was chosen because it is subsequent to changes that have occurred statutorily and procedurally. The cohort will be followed for a period of 48 months as the majority of parolees serve a sentence of one or two years and the average sentence length of probationers is around three years. This strategy of using the entire cohort rather than a subset is important: the NMSAC can use this complete dataset to examine other questions and eliminate redundant merging and cleaning efforts. This project will help the NMSAC to proactively meet the current needs of the criminal justice community, position it to facilitate meeting future needs, and increase visibility of the NMSAC.
The current research would assist the New Mexico Corrections Department (NMCD) and other stakeholders to better understand violation behaviors and revocation decisions as they move forward with initiatives aimed at improving offender success. The NMSAC will focus especially on absconding to determine which offenders are most likely to abscond, when they are most at risk for absconding, and possible explanations for absconding. This information could be used by NMCD to develop strategies to proactively address both absconding specifically and violations more broadly in order to improve integration success among offenders and increase community safety.