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Increasing Access to and Quality of Criminal Justice Data in Tennessee

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $79,180)

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 Tennessee Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) located within the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), was established by Executive Order and mandated by legislation to act as a clearinghouse for statewide criminal justice statistics and to operate the statewide Uniform Crime Reporting Program. The broad goals of the SAC are: 1) act as a central coordination point for federal support, with technical assistance available to help criminal justice agencies in the statistical analysis process; 2) coordinate the flow and exchange of information statistics for all criminal justice agencies in the state; 3) locate, utilize, and coordinate resource personnel to provide expertise to criminal justice agencies on developments in criminal justice statistics and to assist these agencies in the development of public policy; and, 4) continue to design, create, and coordinate the development and management of databases for statistical information for both state and local criminal justice agencies and policymakers to improve the decision making process. The SAC continues to operate under the supervision of a Director with assistance from eight support specialists from TBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Support Center.

Under this award, the Tennessee Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) will conduct activities under the following Core Capacity area: Increasing access to statistical data. The SAC is proposing an 18-month project to improve the quality and timeliness of reports, improve the efficiency of the state repository, and provide training. Tasks include: (a) rendering the services of a state contracted vendor to design, develop, test, and implement program changes that will allow for the export of XML formatted data out of the Criminal History Repository; (b) conducting a comprehensive study on the impact of the coronavirus on crime and criminal justice at the state and local level in Tennessee; and (c) enhancing the SAC’s ability to ensure timely data reports by expanding the SAC’s repository to accept XML formats from submitting agencies, changing data submission requirements from monthly to weekly, and adding “machine to machine” automated data submissions. Funding is also requested for SAC staff to attend a BJS approved conference or meeting on research and statistics during the proposed project period.


Date Created: September 16, 2020