Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $75,000)
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.
Utahs Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) is located in the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ) and has been established in the CCJJ since the inception of the SAC program in the state. The Research and Data section of the CCJJ is the functional area that houses the SAC. Currently, there are three members, a SAC director, research consultant, and data coordinator, who manage the day-to-day operations of the state SAC programs.
The Utah SAC proposes to conduct a project under the following Core Capacity area: Measuring criminal justice system performance. The Utah SAC proposes the creation of a series of web-based dashboard tools to assist with the tracking of recidivism and other performance measures within the juvenile justice system in Utah. This will build off Utah's 2017 SJS grant project, which is focused on promoting data sharing, creating integration infrastructure, and developing recidivism and system performance dashboards within the adult system following the passage of Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) reforms to the adult system by the Utah Legislature in March 2015 and implemented beginning in October 2015. In August 2017, the legislature passed similar major reforms to the juvenile justice system to be implemented over the next two years, and CCJJ and the SAC have again been charged with monitoring the implementation and tracking the impact of the reforms on the system as a whole. As with the adult JRI reforms, this charge and responsibilities are confronted with multiple data-related challenges, the most important being the highly sensitive nature of juvenile data and the reluctance of the agencies owning this data [Juvenile Court, Juvenile Justice Services (JJS)] to share it with researchers outside those agencies. CCJJ and the Utah SAC thus propose using the core capacity building focus of this 2018 grant, focusing mainly on juvenile court data, to develop dashboard tools that directly access the main juvenile justice data system (CARE) to achieve two main goals: 1) make it easier for the juvenile justice agencies to monitor and track their own data; and 2) allow CCJJ to more efficiently track the important performance measures from this data system with minimal impact on staff time within those agencies and data security. Most of the 2017 efforts have been focused on the JJS side of the juvenile justice system (deeper end), which was subject to an audit and required to engage in activities consistent with this project (i.e., dashboards). In the coming year, the SAC hopes to replicate the current efforts with the Juvenile Court side of the system (front end, diversion and probation services), while continuing the recidivism work that has begun, integrating Court data into these tools, and extending outcomes into the adult system.
Funds are also being requested for travel to have the SAC Director attend the spring JRSA meeting and the ASUCRP Conference in 2019.