Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $74,755)
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 Virginia SAC, the Criminal Justice Research Center, provides research and data to the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). The DCJS houses the SAC as well as serves as the SAA. Under the FY20 SJS award, the SAC will conduct a core capacity project (Analyze and Assess NIBRS Data).
The core capacity project will contain four sub-projects to assess the quality and completeness of NIBRS reporting, produce NIBRS data reports, and improve the timeliness of published NIBRS reports. Project 1) Examine the Quality and Content of Economic Crimes Reported in Virginia NIBRS Data. The SAC will analyze economic crimes/arrests in NIBRS from CY2011-2020. Crimes examined will include: fraud (multiple types); impersonation; bribery; counterfeiting/forgery; embezzlement; and bad checks. Project 2) Examine the Effects of the COVID-19 Disruption in the Criminal Justice System Using Virginia NIBRS Data. The SAC will use NIBRS data to examine the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on criminal justice indicators in Virginia. NIBRS indicators to be examined include domestic violence incidents; retail and domestic burglaries; juvenile offenses and arrests; drug offenses and arrests, and biased-based offense and arrests. These indicators will be compared for the period prior to, and after, COVID-19 closures and lockdowns. Project 3) Continue Using NIBRS to Examine Use of Firearms in Domestic Incidents Following Additional Firearms Protective Order Legislation. A previous SAC NIBRS report examined changes in firearms use in domestic violence incidents following a 2016 prohibition on firearms possession by persons subject to a protective order, with mixed results regarding the laws effectiveness. Legislation in 2020 clarified and toughened the 2016 law. The SAC will examine domestic violence incidents in NIBRS following the new 2020 law for potential effects of the newer toughened 2020 law. Project 4) Continue Using NIBRS to Examine Reporting of Misdemeanor and Felony Offenses Following Additional Changes in Virginias Felony-Larceny Threshold. A previous SAC NIBRS report examined changes in retail thefts after Virginia raised its felony-larceny threshold in 2018 from $200 to $500. The report showed a decline in retail thefts after the change, despite concerns that such thefts might increase. In 2020, Virginias felony-larceny threshold will increase again, from $500 to $1,000. The SAC will use NIBRS data to determine if retail theft offenses, arrests or stolen property values change following the 2020 increase.