Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $33,276)
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 NY SAC is located within the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), which is housed within the Executive Department under the Executive Branch, headed by the Governor. Under this award, the NY SAC will conduct a core capacity building project to explore how to fully leverage available court and sentencing data to examine felony case processing in partnership with the district attorneys (DAs). Currently over 60 DAs receive statistics concerning the processing and dispositions of felony cases in NYS superior courts through an outdated reporting system. The antiquated reporting system does not present the information in a meaningful way. The project will overhaul the existing system and develop a reporting process to allow DAs to better understand the decision-making within their offices and how their case processing compares to other DA offices in the state. The project includes the analysis and reports of criminal case processing times, charges and plea-bargaining practices, case outcomes and rates of imprisonment. The first phase of the project will involve developing and rolling out newly designed quarterly report tables by working with the DAs across the state. The tables in the new quarterly report will be easy to interpret and display critical information on criminal justice system trends, criminal case processing and help the DAs better understand the data provided in their individual county based reports as well as other data available to them through DCJS. The second phase will focus on the analyses of criminal history records to shed light on the more complex aspects of felony case processing; such as the review of sentencing and incarceration rates. The project will fund a Graduate Research Assistant who will manage data on felony cases, compile case-specific information from processed felony cases, help create quarterly reports to DAs, assist in the development of a
webcast for report training, and obtain and document input from users for DCJS recommendations and feedback to users.