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Crime Control and Criminal Records

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 1985
This paper explains the relationship between criminal justice records and program initiatives that target offenders and victims.

Newly proposed crime control programs require relevant data to design, implement, and evaluate the programs. Many recent crime control strategies -- pretrial detention, career criminal programs, determinate sentencing, mandatory sentencing, and selective incapacitation -- often require that substantial data be available to distinguish among offenders. Many of the programs also require data not typically found in criminal justice records. This may require establishing new record systems, developing new linkages between record systems, and reviewing relevant policies. Although advances have been made in improving the accuracy, comprehensiveness, and timeliness of criminal justice records, notably in the establishment of State central repositories, substantial work remains to ensure that data are of sufficient quality and relevance to support the statistical and operational needs of the new programs. Victim-witness services also depend on comprehensive and accurate statistics on crimes against particular victim classes, the nature of harm to victims, victim-offender relationships, and the availability of community resources. Charts show the types of data required for various offender-targeted and victim-targeted programs. 16 footnotes.

Date Published: October 1, 1985