Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $138,058)
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 AZ Statistical Analysis Center (SAC), housed within the AZ Criminal Justice Commission (ACJC) is requesting funds to support two core capacity building projects and one special emphasis project.
Victim Compensation Program (VCP) With an increase in funding for the Crime Victims Fund in 2015 which also involved a Congressional provision allocated to the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice to increase oversight and auditing activities there was also interest in performance measurement and data collection from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). This proposed project will allow the AZ SAC to support the work of ACJCs VCP by developing a set of performance measures specific to the program and consistent with the needs of OVC. The AZ SAC will use the new measures proposed by OVC in Feb 2015 which consists of conducting a series of analyses and develop a data collection procedure to capture the primary performance measures from the counties funded by the VCP. In addition to overall assessment of the performance measure data, the AZ SAC will also use the data collected to conduct quarterly performance dashboard measures.
Expansion of Data on the Community Data Project (CDP) - The AZ SAC developed the CDP website in 2010 to enhance the data driven decision-making of local policy makers. A goal of the CDP is to create a central repository of crime, criminal justice and substance related data in AZ and provide an efficient way for stakeholders to access the data for assessment, monitoring, evaluation and reporting. This proposed project will allow the SAC to expand the capacity and reach of the CDP by increasing the available crime and criminal justice data related to drug enforcement activities and outcomes. The new data expansion would illustrate the impact of the supply side of the drug enforcement equation need to be added to better balance the demand reduction side of traditional community prevention efforts. The new data would include variables that establish the supply of drugs in the community; more info about drug-related arrest activity; and prosecution outcome variables. The funding will be used to obtain the historical data in a usable format for the CDP and uploaded to the website.
Evaluation of AZs Drug Task Forces - Since 2010, funding to support AZ drug force activities has dropped by 23 percent which has resulted in difficult decisions regarding funding allocations. There is a need to move beyond basic performance measures involving seizures, forfeitures and arrests to a more thorough investigation of how the content, context and processes of drug task forces directly impact criminal justice and public safety outcomes. This project will allow the AZ SAC to support work of ACJCs Drug, Gang and Violent Crime Control program by developing an extensive evaluation of the AZ drug task forces funded by the ACJC. Analyses are needed to identify how different process measures and contextual factors are related to impact measures, and how they collectively serve to cut down on the supply of drugs in the community. Direct evidence is needed to define the relationship between the process and impact measures of the task force side to the outcomes of the prosecution side of the criminal justice system. This will create a more informative policy decision-making process on the funding of drug enforcement activities.