Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $189,959)
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 SAC is located at the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet (KJPSC) and also serves as the State Administering Agency (SAA) for Kentucky. The SAC will focus on projects from previous award activities which includes the juvenile justice evaluation project and a crime victimization survey (CVS).
Under the 2015 SJS Core Capacity area, the SAC will continue the evaluation of a Vulnerability Assessment Instrument by the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice as well as begin two additional projects that will build the SACs core capacity. Once developed, the instrument will help identify individuals at risk of engaging in or being victim to a sexual and/or physical assault while in a juvenile confinement setting. The SAC will conduct performance evaluations, identify longitudinal trends, examine risk profiles, and answer additional research questions as they arise.
The SAC will also continue efforts started under the 2014 SJS program to evaluate and re-allocate available victim service resources in Kentucky. During meetings with the SAA and other stakeholders, the SAC identified several major barriers to effective data collection, which will be used to change the application process and funding protocol and significantly increase the amount and type of data available and how it will be collected.
The final core capacity project will bring together various sources of data to examine the relationship(s) between child maltreatment, criminal justice involvement, and other risk factors. In the past, there has been no attempt within the state to examine this type of victimization in a systematic fashion, although child maltreatment remains an important issue within the state.
Under the 2015 SJS Special Emphasis area, the SAC will continue its efforts to conduct a CVS. This iteration of the survey allows for a significantly larger sample size to provide estimates of victimization of voters in Kentuckys area development districts and those that reside within the boundaries of Lexington and Louisville. The frame, which will be the same as utilized during the 2008 edition of the survey, was selected based on its completeness and accurate listing of Kentuckys residents. A random sample of registered voters will receive mailed surveys. The state will mail surveys to 27,000 registered voters with an expected response rate of around 25%.
The surveys sampling size will also be expanded to include the homeless. The SAC will survey individuals receiving overnight shelter from temporary housing providers throughout the state that are recognized by the Kentucky Interagency Council on Homelessness (KICH). This information will be used in sample weighting and will allow the SAC to calculate the probability of inclusion for each of the KICH shelters. The SAC hopes to achieve a total sample of 384 homeless individuals for a response rate of 20% or higher.
The survey instrument will include items regarding perception of risk and safety, and attitudes towards the criminal justice system, as well as the criminal victimization experience itself. This will allow the SAC to build upon the information gathered during previous versions of the survey in which attitudes toward the criminal justice system and the perceptions of safety were examined, thus providing some longitudinal/trend data.