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GIS-Mapping and Criminal Justice Statistical Trends Report

Award Information

Award #
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $119,080)

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 Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) is the State Administrative Agency (SAA) which also houses the state’s SAC. The SAC is proposing 2 projects: one core capacity building project (Dashboard Enhancement) and one special emphasis project (Criminal Justice Statistical Trends Report).

Dashboard Enhancement: PCCD is proposing to use GIS-mapping to enhance their visual representation of data, which will build upon the current PCCD’s digital dashboards (using FY 2015 SJS funds). The SAC hosts a wide range of publically available criminal justice statistics and trends, but the information is typically presented in graphs, spreadsheets and tables. Mapping the available data is the next step for PCCD to take visualization to the next level to assist key decision-makers throughout the state. PCCD has already developed a list of potential GIS-mapping projects that would be of benefit to the PCCD, other state agencies, county agencies and the public. The SAC intends to build the GIS-maps and the applications developed around them to be platform independent, available on both web site and mobile devices. This would allow the information to be more accessible to their intended audience. Some projects identified for 2016 include: mapping project outcomes, creating a victim services locator story map, and Map UCR crime data and overlay with current demographic data to identify gaps in service. Towards the end of the project, PCCD will evaluate the quality of the maps and assess their usefulness and if the in-house GIS-mapping is valuable and needed, the SAC will explore the use of funding from other avenues to continue the GIS-mapping process.

Trends Report: PCCD intends to create a comprehensive Criminal Justice Statistical Trends Report for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania which will examine the current state of the criminal justice system. PCCD has been limited in its ability to meet its statutory requirement to analyze and adequately interpret criminal justice trends due to a lack of funding and staff resources; however, the development of the SAC’s in-house research capabilities has enabled the PCCD to now take on this task. The project seeks to compile all of the publicly known state data sources available across the criminal justice system in Pennsylvania and evaluate that data as a whole to create a detailed statistical trends report that will inform the Commission and BJS as to the current state of PA’s criminal justice system and help guide future policy decisions by state agency partners and lawmakers. The project includes assembling agency stakeholders and established statistical drivers; the analysis of agency data sets and establishment of cross-system measures; and build, design and disseminate the Criminal Justice Statistical Trends Report. (CA/NCF)

Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law.

Date Created: August 9, 2016