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Glossary

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Community corrections

The supervision of criminal offenders in the resident population, as opposed to confining offenders in secure correctional facilities. The two main types of community corrections supervision are probation and parole. Community corrections is also referred to as community supervision.

Community policing

A philosophy promoting organizational strategies that support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques between the police and the community. These strategies proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues, such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime. For more information about community policing, please visit the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) website.

Computer virus

A hidden fragment of computer code which propagates by inserting itself into or modifying other programs. Includes viruses, worms, and Trojan horses. Excludes spyware, adware, and other malware.

Consent search

Search made by United States law enforcement personnel based on the consent of the individual whose person or property is being searched. No warrant or probable cause is required to perform a search if a person with the proper authority permits, approves, or agrees to a search. A consent search requires the individual whose person or property is being searched to freely and voluntarily waive his or her Fourth Amendment rights, granting the officer permission to perform the search.

Contract attorneys

Nonsalaried private attorneys, bar associations, law firms, consortiums or groups of attorneys, or nonprofit corporations that contract with a funding source to provide court-appointed representation in a jurisdiction.

Contract cases (contracts)

Cases that include all allegations of breach of contract.

Court security

An integrated approach to the judicial process that ensures the integrity and safety of the court system and its participants. This is achieved by effectively evaluating, planning, and pro-actively managing threats and potential threats directed toward the court system.

Crime classification

Victimizations and incidents are classified based on detailed characteristics of the event provided by the respondent. Neither victims nor interviewers classify crimes at the time of interview. During data processing, a computer program classifies each event into one type of crime, based on the entries on a number of items on the survey questionnaire. This ensures that similar events will be classified using a standard procedure. The glossary definition for each crime indicates the major characteristics required to be so classified. If an event can be classified as more than one type of crime, a hierarchy is used that classifies the crime according to the most serious event that occurred. The hierarchy from highest to lowest is rape, sexual assault, robbery, assault, burglary/trespassing, motor-vehicle theft, and theft.

Crime laboratories

A scientific laboratory (with at least one full-time natural scientist) that examines physical evidence in criminal matters, and provides reports and opinion testimony with respect to such physical evidence in courts of law.

Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) or Criminal History Record Information System

A record (or the system maintaining such records) that includes individual identifiers and describes an individual's arrests and subsequent dispositions. Criminal history records do not include intelligence or investigative data or sociological data, such as drug use history. CHRI systems usually include information on juveniles if they are tried as adults in criminal courts. Most, however, do not include data describing involvement of an individual in the juvenile justice system. All data in CHRI systems are usually backed by fingerprints of the record subjects to provide positive identification. State legislation varies concerning disclosure of criminal history records for noncriminal justice purposes.

Criminal Justice Information Services Advisory Policy Board (APB)

Successor to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) APB, the CJIS APB is comprised of 30 criminal justice officials who provide policy input to guide the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the administration of its CJIS Division. The CJIS Division administers the NCIC, the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS), and other information system programs determined by the FBI director to have some relationship with these programs.

Cross deputization agreements

Allow law enforcement personnel from state and tribal entities to cross jurisdictions in criminal cases. Cross deputization agreements have been used to enhance law enforcement capabilities in areas where state and tribal lands were contiguous and intermingled. Under some agreements, federal, state, county/local, and/or tribal law enforcement officers have the power to arrest Indian and non-Indian wrongdoers wherever the violation of law occurs.

Custody

To have custody of a prisoner, a state or the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) must physically hold that person in one of its facilities. A locality, state, or the BOP may hold inmates over whom a different government maintains jurisdiction.

Custody count

The number of offenders in custody. To have custody of a prisoner, a state or the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) must physically hold that person in one of its facilities. A locality, state, or the BOP may have custody of a prisoner over whom a different government maintains jurisdiction.

Data quality

The extent to which criminal history records are complete, accurate, and timely. In addition, accessibility sometimes is considered a data quality factor. The key concern in data quality is the completeness of records and the extent to which records include dispositions as well as arrest and charge information. Other concerns include the timeliness of data reporting to state and federal repositories, the timeliness of data entry by the repositories, the readability of criminal history records, and the ability to have access to the records when necessary.

Data year

The set of victimizations reported to NCVS, all of which occurred within the same calendar year. For all years prior to 1996, Criminal Victimization in the United States tables are based on data year. Beginning in 1996, tables are based on collection year. See "Collection Year."

Deadly or lethal force

Force that a law enforcement officer uses with the purpose of causing, or that the officer knows to create a substantial risk of causing, death, or serious bodily harm.

Death row

Death row refers to incarcerated persons who have been sentenced to death and are awaiting execution (as in "inmates on death row"). Historically, death row was a slang term that referred to the area of a prison in which prisoners who were under a sentence of death were housed. Usage of the term continues despite the fact that many states do not maintain a separate unit or facility for condemned inmates.

Defendant

Any party who is required to answer the complaint of a plaintiff or pursuer in a civil lawsuit before a court, or any party who has been formally charged or accused of violating a criminal statute.

Denial of service

The disruption, degradation, or exhaustion of an Internet connection or e-mail service that results in an interruption of the normal flow of information. Denial of service is usually caused by ping attacks, port scanning probes, or excessive amounts of incoming data.

Design capacity

The number of inmates that planners or architects intended for the facility.

Direct expenditure

All expenditure except that classified as inter­govern­mental. It includes "direct current expenditure" (salaries, wages, fees, commissions and purchases of supplies, materials, and contractual services) and "capital outlays" (con­struction and purchase of equipment, land, and existing structures). Capital outlays are included for the year when the direct expenditure is made, regardless of how the funds are raised (for example, by bond issue) or when they are paid back.

Discharge

Individuals exiting parole supervision. Successful discharges include persons who have completed the term of conditional supervision. Unsuccessful discharges include revocations of parole, returns to prison or jail, and absconders. Parolees who are transferred to other jurisdictions and those who die while under supervision are not included in the calculation of success/failure rates.

DNA

The abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid, which is the genetic material present in the cells of all living organisms. DNA is the fundamental building block for an individual's entire genetic makeup. A person's DNA is the same in every cell (with a nucleus). DNA is contained in blood, semen, skin cells, tissue, organs, muscle, brain cells, bone, teeth, hair, saliva, mucus, perspiration, fingernails, urine, feces, etc.