Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $66,000)
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 Missouri SAC (MO SAC) was established and operates under authority vested in the Missouri Department of Public Safety. The MO SAC is organizationally placed in the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) Research and Development Division.
The MO SAC will use SJS funds to build a new data reporting system that will consolidate and standardize agency reports to increase statistical reporting accuracy and decrease confusion on data among stakeholders. The MO SAC has identified a need that will improve the collection, analysis, and dissemination of statistical information on crime and criminal justice at the state and local levels. Due to the MO SAC being located within the states central repository for crime data, they have access to large amounts of data. The MO SAC maintains a website with crime statistics which provides research, technical, and statistical analytical support to federal, state and local authorities, policymakers, and the public of MO. Access to the website and the data within the website has reduced the number of requests received from the public for crime-based statistical information. The reduction in requests has allowed the MO SAC to concentrate on analyzing available data and increasing the amount of information and reports on the website rather than fulfilling the requests. Through the data analysis process, the MO SAC has identified within the agency that there are numerous reports, both external and internal, providing inconsistent and inaccurate information within the reports. The new data reporting system project will consist of hiring a consultant to assist in consolidating reports and developing a public and internal web-portal to display the data. The consultant currently works on several other MO SAC and Highway Patrol projects and is familiar with the agencys data systems. The project plan will be conducted in three phases: 1) evaluating and surveying all data reports within the agency to identify any duplication or coding errors among the reports; 2) consolidating and enhancing existing reports to develop a central location for patrol employees as well as the public and stakeholders to obtain the requested data; 3) developing the public interface and publication of the new reports.