Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $147,186)
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 Idaho Statistical Analysis Center (ISAC) has been located within the Idaho State Police (formerly the Idaho Department of Law Enforcement) since its inception in 1978. Although the ISAC is housed within the Idaho State Police, the unit is completely grant funded and has no line responsibilities to the agency. The SAC Director and two other highly qualified personnel fulfill the Idaho Statistical Analysis Centers mission to provide statistical, analytical, planning, evaluation, and technical support to state, local, and national criminal justice agencies.
Under the FY 20 SAC project, the Idaho SAC (ID SAC) will conduct a Core Capacity and Special Emphasis project.
In project one (1), the ID SAC will conduct a Core Capacity project by collaborating with the Boise State University (BSU) to develop a report on the state of victimization data. In their work with the Idaho Council on Domestic Violence and Victim Assistance, BSU will partner with Idaho SAC to increase citizen, agency, policymaker, and government awareness of the extent, type, and consequences of victimization in Idaho as well as the current state and needs of crime victims, victim services, and victim service professionals. To that extent, the Idaho SAC will develop a tableau-powered dashboard to display data concerning victimization. The SAC noted, in Idaho, victimization data concerning incidents, indicators and risk factors are scattered throughout state and local agencies. Specifically, they believe that having data spread throughout separate entities prevents victim service providers, policy makers and elected officials from seeing the breadth, frequency, type and consequences of victimization. The victimization data dashboard will gather and analyze data that will leverage the support and efforts of other DOJ grant funded program (i.e. VOCA and STOP).
In project two (2), the ID SAC will conduct a Special Emphasis project by using criminal history data to determine a pattern, if any, in domestic violence offender behavior. Specifically, the ID SAC will analyze criminal history records to understand the extent to which these offenders create patterns. Further, the ID SAC believes that an analysis of the pattern of domestic violence offender behavior will be completed utilizing criminal history records. It is important to note that, in a previous study conducted by the Idaho SAC, they found that, in Idaho, 39% of the offenders charged with domestic assault/battery had their charges reduced to lessor offenses. Specifically, of the 39% who had charges reduced, 74.1% ultimately resulted in a charge of disturbing the peace or disorderly conduct. They believe this practice of amending domestic assault and battery charges has prohibited multiple time offenders from being charged and convicted of a felony. Additionally, they believe this research will identify the tendency to amend domestic violence charges may have grave implications if offenders continue on the path of violent offending.
A second component of this project will be a systematic assessment of the quality of the data and whether future research project, potentially on a multi-state level, would be feasible. (CA/NCF)