Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $209,967)
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 will use SJS funds for 2 projects: one core capacity building project (GIS-Mapping Enhancement) and one special emphasis project (Improving County Jail and Probation Population Data).
For the core capacity project, PCCD will use GIS-mapping to enhance their visual representation of data, which will build upon the current PCCD's digital dashboards (2015 SJS funded) and GIS-mapping projects (2016 SJS funded). PCCD's SAC hosts a wide range of publicly available criminal justice data and statistics and mapping the data will enhance the visualization and data analysis in addition to increasing the availability to relevant masses. Since using GIS-mapping in 2015, the spatial analysis of data allows policy makers to identify gaps in service and assist in the strategic development of solutions to meet those needs. For 2017, the PCCD intends to build on the GIS-mapping with 2 projects: 1) Map Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC) offender data with current demographic data, and 2) Use both AOPC and Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) data to assist PCCD's Office of Victims Services victims needs-based assessment. The goal of the project is to provide use to criminal justice policy -makers, including federal, state and local agencies, legislators and the general public and provide more user-friendly information to the intended audience. The GIS-maps and the applications developed around them are platform independent available on both web and mobile devices.
For the special emphasis project, PCCD will address the data exchange issues within the Pennsylvania Justice Network's (JNET) electronic reporting web-services for County Jails (ERII) and County Adult Probation Departments (ER2P). These two reporting services exchange information and data relating to offenders between stakeholders, law enforcement agencies, the Pennsylvania DOC and the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (PBPP). A recent study indicated the stock population counts for county jails and probation offices may not accurately reflect what is being reported into the ERII and ER2P databases which was confirmed in a pilot study performed by JNET. JNET, with support from PCCD, will perform a county-by-county refresh of its ERII and ER2P databases to better understand county inmate and probationer population counts. Following the refresh, JNET will then use the new administrative data to perform research by benchmarking the stock population counts of county jails and probation offices. The intended plan is to prioritize the electronic reporting refreshes on the top 10 counties with the highest number of county jail inmates and probationers. The goal of the project is to use administrative criminal justice data for research by enhancing an existing data exchange technology to improve research access to data. JNET will refine its existing data exchange capacity and use the improved capacity to benchmark stock populations for county jails and probation offices. This project enhances the goal of moving the SAC closer towards maintaining a repository of criminal justice statistical drivers to facilitate research. (CA/NCF)
Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law.