Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2019, $193,390)
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 Massachusetts Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) is located within the Research and Policy Analysis Division (RPAD). RPAD is a division within the Office of Grants and Research, the arm of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) that serves as the State Administrative Agency for federal criminal justice, highway safety and homeland security grant funds. The SAC in conjunction with RPAD provides public safety and criminal justice research, policy analysis, program evaluation, and information services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Under this award, the SAC will conduct two projects: One Core Capacity and One Special Emphasis.
Under the core capacity project, the MA SAC will work with the Maine SAC on a joint project to study the recidivism rates of sex offenders who were released from supervision in 2005 or later. This project will enhance both SACs capacity to analyze criminal history records and corrections data and integrate the two datasets along with risk assessment data into one large dataset that can be queried to assess trends in re-offending behavior for those individuals originally convicted of a sex offense. This analysis has not been done in Maine or Massachusetts nor has it been done in most states. In addition, this project will enable both SACs to collaborate on a topic that is an important public safety concern in both states. Lastly, this study will contribute to the field of sex offender recidivism research by generating state sex offender recidivism rates.
To conduct this project, both SACs will use the criminal history records in their respective states to track any type of arrest and/or conviction (in the case of Maine) or arraignment and/or conviction (in Massachusetts) for any member of this cohort. In addition, the Open Justice Broker Consortium will work with both SACs to develop a database accessible to both states with de-identified records that can be mined as each state sees fit. Criminal history records from each state will be shared with the other to identify cohort members who recidivate in the neighbor state. Analyses will focus on whether cohort members, categorized by offender type (rapist, child molester, other), were arrested and/or convicted of a subsequent sex offense, violent offense, or any other type of offense. Further analysis will focus on Static-99 risk scores to establish the effectiveness of the tool in predicting recidivism.
Under the Special Emphasis project, the MA SAC will continue their efforts to develop the ICJIS Strategic Bond Plan of their FY 17 project. Specifically, the MA EOPSS will use the agency data dictionaries developed for this project to work with the county sheriffs departments to report on release data extracted from each of the sheriffs information systems to provide a statewide snapshot of adult county and state prisoners and offenders under parole supervision for the same time period. The report will establish a baseline for trend reports, ideally for mid-year and end of year populations.