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 Mississippi Statistical Analysis Center (MS-SAC) proposes to conduct a project under the following Core Capacity Building theme: (D) Other capacity building project identified by the SAC. There is a pressing need for the MS-SAC to work with the Mississippi Administrative Office of Courts and local drug courts to develop data collection strategies that successfully integrate the nature and type of data collection which occurs at the state and local levels and assist in the ability of the state to evaluate drug court programs using a reliable and valid methodology. Given the growth of drug court programs throughout the state, coupled with the continued collection of data by the Mississippi Administrative Office of Courts, the MS-SAC now has the opportunity to conduct more advanced statistical analysis, including longitudinal analysis, to assess the performance and effectiveness of Mississippi drug court programs over two decades.
The MS-SAC is proposing to examine data currently maintained on the state and local level regarding the operation of drug court programs in Mississippi. The MS-SAC will review and collect data from official program records, as well as interview judges and drug program coordinators at each site to discuss the manner in which drug programs are administered. Visits will also be made to the Administrative Office of the Courts which oversees the establishment, implementation, and operation of drug courts throughout the state. While on-site, MS-SAC staff will review and collect data from official program records at the Administrative Office of the Courts, as well as interview the project coordinator for the Drug Courts Program. The data collection will commence over an eight month period, with analysis and report writing occurring during the final four months. A final report will be made available in print to BJS, relevant policymakers, and public officials at the conclusion of the project. This project is slated to significantly increase the core capacity of the MS-SAC, enhance access to statistical data, and allow the MS-SAC to be responsive to the needs of state and local stakeholders for current and integrated data regarding drug courts.