Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $218,917)
The Louisiana Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) is the research division of the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement (LCLE). The mission of the SAC is to provide research and analytic support for policy development on significant criminal justice issues at all levels of government, while producing basic information for the public and policymakers on the operation of the states criminal justice system. LSAC is led by the acting SAC Director. The acting SAC Director is responsible for creating the research agenda, developing research protocols, collecting data, conducting analysis, and preparing reports for dissemination.
Under this award, LSAC will conduct activities under the following Core Capacity area: Increasing access to statistical data, and Special Emphasis area: Conducting targeted analyses that use the states criminal history records. In the Core Capacity area, the LSAC proposes a 12-month Core Capacity project focusing on increasing access to statistical data through enhancing the LSAC section of the LCLE website. Funds are being requested to expand the present LSAC website to electronically collect, analyze, and disseminate statewide sexual assault data. Presently, the Sexual Assault Collection Kit and Sexually-Oriented Criminal Offenses Survey is assembled as paper forms by the LSAC staff each year. The paper form is mailed, emailed, and/or faxed to police departments, 64 sheriffs offices, and 7 crime labs. Completed forms are returned to the LSAC staff for evaluation. Data, from the forms, are entered into an Excel spreadsheet along with relevant information and is compiled in a report for distribution.
LSACs primary responsibility will be to identify the vendor to perform the necessary enhancements to the database. A contract between LCLE and the vendor will be executed once the bidding process is completed. LCLE SAC staff and management will meet with the vendor to explore the updates and make sure the changes meet the needs of everyone that will have access to the database. SAC staff will test the enhancements to ensure the updates match the modified requests. Quarterly updates will be provided to SAC staff by the vendor. These enhancements to the website will allow Louisianas criminal justice and law enforcement communities to share state-level information in an effort to develop policy to combat crime.
In the Special Emphasis area, LSAC has been tasked with determining how the opioid crisis is affecting the state of Louisianas law enforcement. Data in the areas of arrests, sentencing structure, costs, jail space, rehabilitation services, after-care services, social economic levels, education, prior juvenile record, age, race, gender, and previous felonies and/or convictions will be researched. In addition, the SAC will research how the increase of opioid use has affected the number of violent and property crime offenses in Louisiana. Results of the study will be compiled into a report and provided to policy-makers to assist in making changes to the criminal justice process as it relates to opioid drug arrests and convictions.
Additionally, funds will be used for SAC staff to participate in the annual ASUCRP Conference and one of the 2020 JRSA Regional meetings.