Through the BJS-ARC project, BJS aims to undertake and complete methodological research that will complement its routine collection and reporting of criminal justice system statistics under its Criminal Justice Statistics Program. Through its CJSP, BJS develops and disseminates statistics that describes the operations of the criminal justice system; the attributes of law enforcement, prosecution, judicial, and correctional agencies at the federal, state and local levels; and undertakes special projects to develop new statistical collections and methodologies. For this project, the work focuses on statistical collections other than the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). All references to the CJSP that follow exclude the NCVS unless it is explicitly mentioned.
In total, the CJSP has administered numerous data collections over the years (a roster can be found at: www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=dca). During a given year, BJS's CJSP comprises about 30 statistical collections. The majority of these are establishment surveys that obtain two types of information: (1) data on the movement of offender populations through the criminal justice system and (2) data on the characteristics of criminal justice agencies.
In addition, several of the CJSP collections are based on administrative records obtained from pretrial, court, and correctional agencies. Periodically, the CJSP conducts surveys of offenders, primarily offenders in prisons or local jails. Through these collections, BJS annually publishes statistics on persons under correctional supervision, persons who die in custody, and persons processed through the federal criminal justice system. Periodically, it publishes statistics on law enforcement agencies and correctional facility operations, on prosecution practices and policies, on state court case processing and felony convictions, on criminal justice expenditures and employment, on civil justice case processing, on the characteristics of correctional populations, and on the recidivism patterns of offenders.