Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $209,285)
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.
Effective January 1, 2015, the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center (ACJIC) together with other law enforcement agencies in the state have been consolidated, in accordance with Alabama Act 2013-67, into a single agency called the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA). The Alabama Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) is located within the Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS) Division of ALEA. The SAC serves as a clearinghouse of criminal justice information and is responsible for analyzing and disseminating crime data to members of the executive, legislative and judicial departments of government, media outlets and the public.
Under this award, the Alabama SAC will conduct activities under the following Core Capacity areas: Increased Access to Statistical Data and Measuring Criminal Justice System Performance; and Special Emphasis area: Conducting targeted analyses utilizing the states criminal history records. The SAC, through a partnership with the University of Alabama-Center for Advanced Public Safety (COLA) will use funds to enhance analytic tools by installing the Critical Analysis Reporting Environment (CARE) and the Automated Discovery Visual Analysis, Networking and Control (ADVANCE) system. CARE is an information discovery engine that searches through datasets discovering information that is critical to effectively identifying and developing incident and criminal case relationships. Users will be able to easily define data subsets directly from frequency and cross-tabulation outputs, then compare any two of these subsets over all attributes. The most critical attributes and their most over-represented visuals will be shown in a graphical display. CAREs integrated GIS capability enables visualization of potential problem areas or specific locations of crashes. The web-based version of CARE, ADVANCE system, allows the user to analyze data online. Data will be displayed on a dashboard that the user can manipulate to create datasets, graphs, and charts. These tools will assist decision-makers with planning, operations, and evaluation.
The SAC is also proposing a project under the Special Emphasis area: Conducting Targeted Analysis using the States Criminal History Records. Alabama is in the midst of a multi-year redesign and deployment of its Computerized Criminal History (CCH) system. The goal of this redesign is to improve data quality and timeliness in the system by replacing paper-based data communication with electronic data exchange, and by improving the quality of the system design and its methodology for combining disparate data sources into a single cohesive criminal history record. Funds will be used to conduct analysis and establish a system that provides linkages to criminal history records from other data sources (e.g. UCR Local Template for Reporting and Analysis System (ULTRA), eCite, Model Impaired Driver Access System (MIDAS), SORNA, etc.) to explore factors that may affect patterns of offending or recidivism and to produce information that is not available from applying analytic to any one of the systems independently.