Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $177,035)
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 Illinois Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) is located in the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA). The ICJIA was created in 1983 and is located in the executive branch of state government, within the Public Safety domain of state agencies.
Under this award, the SAC will conduct two projects: One (1) Core Capacity and One (1) Special Emphasis.
Under the Core Capacity project, the SAC will develop and deploy a web data portal application (Portal) that will serve as a means to manage and share the Illinois SACs data and related publications. Specifically, while the SAC has increased the amount of data available over the years, the ability of local units of government and state agencies to effectively analyze and use it continues to lag. To address this issue, the SAC will focus on creating a more visible web presence, offering datasets in machine-readable formats, and providing users with more channels of active participation and contribution beyond downloading the existing datasets or reading published articles. Once completed, the Portal will provide an alternative to the current Research and Analysis Unit data repository web pages within the ICJIA website.
Under the Special Emphasis project, the SAC will build on its capacity to link state criminal history records to corrections records and other data sources (including the Illinois Sex Offender Registry maintained by the Illinois State Police and civil death certificate records maintained by the Illinois Department of Public Health). The objective is to more precisely determine recidivism rates for various criminal justice populations, such as those arrested for firearm-involved offenses and convicted sex offenders. Findings from a previous study on mortality rates of firearm offenders suggests a strong link between firearm involvement and homicidal death from a gunshot wound. The availability of records collected in the Illinois Violent Death Reporting System (IVDRS) offers an opportunity to link a much larger pool of 5,800 violent deaths from the years 2015-2017 to the states criminal history (CHRI) system records, to more systematically investigate the link between criminal justice involvement and violent deaths from homicide, suicide, injury deaths of undetermined motive, and unintentional firearm deaths. Detailed information on the circumstances of the death incident in the IVDRS will add information to the analysis not available in the CHRI records, such as the victim/offender relationship, and the existence of multiple victims or offenders in the incident. Conversely, information gleaned from prior criminal history, such as previous arrests for firearm or drug offenses, may suggest pathways to the manner of violent deaths, and perhaps point to specific intervention points. The matching of IVDRS records and state CHRI records will also offer an opportunity to assess the quality of information on arrestee death available in CHRI, such as the presence of corroborating Death Notice records. The SAC will deliver a final report, including a data quality assessment, to BJS.