Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $71,516)
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 MN SAC, housed within the MN Department of Public Safety (MNDPS), will use SJS funds to support one core capacity project (Website Enhancement) and one special emphasis project (Recidivism Study).
For the Website Enhancement project, the MN SAC, in collaboration with the Office of Communications (OOC) and MNs IT Services (MN.IT) will redesign the public-facing website by reorganizing the navigation, reorganizing and expanding content, and creating a web environment that makes it easier for users to find and access content through the purchase of the Tableau platform. Currently, the website is based on plain text-based hyperlinks with navigation bars and the new design will implement more graphical displays and text boxes that highlight content areas throughout the website. The enhancements will make publications and interactive data more accessible as well as build additional sources of information through expanding the variety of data offered in the Tableau dashboards.
For the Recidivism Study project, the MN SAC will research and analyze long-term sex offender recidivism by using data from the MN Department of Corrections (MNDOC) and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) which maintains MNs criminal history records. The MNDOC will provide a dataset that includes all sex offenders released from MN state prisons from 1990 to 2003. The 14 year time span will allow MNSAC to capture an abundant sample of sex offenders to include in the analyses as well as involve a period of consistent administrative record keeping practices. Once the offender data is collected from MNDOC, inmate records will be sent to BCA to collect arrest and reconviction data for any matches. Recidivism will be measured in many ways, including arrests, convictions, admissions to prison for new offenses, and supervision violation. Survival analysis will be used since key dates are available which maximizes time-dependent data in determining if an offender recidivates and how soon recidivism occurs. Recidivism data will be tracked through the end of calendar year 2017.