Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $62,648)
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 Virginia SAC, the Criminal Justice Research Center, provides research and data to the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). The DCJS houses the SAC as well as serves as the SAA. Under the FY 2017 SJS award, the SAC proposes to conduct the following projects:
1) NIBRS-Based Examination of Incidents at Schools and Colleges: In addition to housing the SAC, VAs SAA houses the VA Center for School and Campus Safety (VCSCS). The VCSCS collects and disseminates school and campus safety materials and administers state and federal grant funding for school and campus safety initiatives. For the FY 2017 SJS award, the SAC will increase its current data support to VCSCS through enhanced analysis of VA NIBRS data. The SAC will produce detailed descriptive reports examining the extent and nature of school and college criminal incidents in VA. In addition, the SAC will conduct a thorough exam of quality and completeness of NIBRS variables in these incidents. This will include a detailed exam of the NIBRS Victim/Offender Relationship variable and how it is coded for college incidents.
2) Improve the Timeliness of Reporting NIBRS Data: The SAC intends to produce semi-annual NIBRS reports which will allow the SAC more time for data completeness and quality control checks. In addition, it will allow the SAC to report VA trends compared with national trends reported in the FBIs preliminary semi-annual January-June UCR and the annual Crime in the United States report. The SAC has started to develop and finalize on-line maps to provide users with NIBRS and other locality-level data for all 133 VA cities and counties. Under this award, the SAC will continue using the maps by placing them on the SAAs website with periodical updates. The SAC will monitor traffic on the maps webpages and use the data to improve the utility of the maps and data.
3) Analysis and Evaluation of NIBRS data for Understanding Property Crime: The SAC will conduct and report on the analysis and evaluation of NIBRS data for understanding personal and commercial property crimes, including an assessment over time and across reporting units of the quality and completeness of data elements that record property type and value, how fraud offenses are categorized, and clearance information.
4) Examine Reporting of Simple and Aggravated Assaults to NIBRS: Using the VA NIBRS reporting data for aggravated (98,475) and simple (840,615) assault victims, the SAC will devise a methodology for examining how consistently aggravated and simple assaults are coded over time, consistency in reporting by different law enforcement agencies across VA, and trends in clearances. The SAC will identify possible reasons for any anomalies in reporting or any changes in reporting practices for aggravated and simple assaults.
For each of the four sub-projects, the SAC will produce a publishable quality report identifying any anomalies found in the NIBRS reporting of incidents at schools and colleges, property crime, and aggravated and simple assaults and provide recommendations for improving reporting. The reports will be shared with BJS, the VSP NIBRS repository, and JRSA.
Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law.