Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $224,926)
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 build off of the efforts of prior year projects to develop a data portal. The project is the development of a new web service that will make statistical summaries derived from CHRI records available to users in customized formats, while preserving the confidentiality of the underlying data. Similar to Application Programming Interfaces (API) available from the Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for creating statistical tables from complex underlying records, this project will develop data tables of de-identified CHRI information, configure open source data server elements to properly receive user commands and send back appropriate results, and create a user-friendly web interface that includes documentation and training materials. The availability of this new web-based tool will ameliorate the need to constantly field individual ad hoc requests for that information, which currently requires staff-intensive record pulling and cleaning, make the statistical data more universally available upon demand to various constituent groups, and become the model for similar CHRI-related APIs in other states through the sharing of the underlying code structure.
The API will consist of four elements:
1) Design of the API for Illinois' CHRI statistics
2) Architecture of the service;
3) Policy for using the service and data provided by the service
Under the Special Emphasis project, the SAC will build on their capacity to link state criminal history records to corrections records and other data sources (including a new group of individuals recently included in the IVDRS database, those who died of an unintentional opioid drug overdose). While it is well documented that many criminal justice-involved individuals have Substance Use Disorders (SUD) and are at risk for drug overdose (Adams, 2016), the criminal justice system does not have any centralized mechanism to capture information on the circumstances and antecedents of these deaths that could be used to inform prevention and intervention policies and practices. Conversely, while such data collection on mortality falls within the purview of public health systems, there is often a lack of focus on the subset of persons who were justice-involved. This proposed project seeks to bridge this gap by utilizing CHRI records in tandem with the new State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System (SUDORS) data component of the IVDRS.