The Justice Research and Statistics Association is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the use of nonpartisan research and analysis to inform criminal and juvenile justice decisionmaking. We are comprised of a network of researchers and practitioners throughout government, academia, and the justice community. At the core of this network are the directors of the state Statistical Analysis Centers (SACs), which are units or agencies at the state government level that use information from all components of the criminal justice system to conduct objective analyses informing policy and practice at the state and local levels.
Our Vision and Mission
JRSA's vision is to be the premier professional organization for all state justice researchers and statistical analysis centers that promotes the use of statistical data and research to guide policy and practice, creating a more effective and responsive criminal justice system in the states.
It is the mission of the Justice Research and Statistics Association to promote the effective and efficient administration of criminal and juvenile justice through the objective analysis of data and the dissemination of research that informs policy and practice.
A fundamental purpose of the Association is to promote the use of empirical analysis in criminal justice policy decision making at the state level and, in furtherance of this, to promote the development and continued improvement of State Statistical Analysis Centers. Our values are based on the principles of integrity and professionalism as they pertain to the applied social sciences. We recognize peer review as a primary safeguard to insure integrity and professionalism. The selection of data, of sampling methods, and of presentation of findings all create the chance for bias to be introduced. The goal, therefore, for researchers and analysts, is to avoid bias to the extent possible, and to document known biases where they are introduced. For more information see our Code of Ethic.
Statistical Analysis Centers (SACs)
While the majority of SACs (68%) are housed within their State Administering Agency (SAA), the location of SAAs varies from state to state. As a result, SACs are located in a variety of settings including the offices of the Governor or the Attorney General, and Law Enforcement or Public Safety agencies. Of the SACs located outside of government agencies, all but one are located within academic institutions. The remaining SAC is a registered non-profit public benefit corporation.
The SACs perform a variety of activities including collecting, analyzing, and distributing criminal justice data, conducting policy-relevant research, and designing and implementing automated information systems. SACs play an important role in development of criminal and juvenile justice policy at the state and local levels. Their research provides the evidence that policymakers use to guide their decision-making. By furthering the use of evidence-based practices in their states', SACs promote the effective and efficient administration of criminal and juvenile justice. Contact information for all the SACs is available on the JRSA web site.
JRSA is governed by its bylaws and a seven-member Executive Committee, including three officers and two delegates elected from among the State Statistical Analysis Center directors (a President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer, and two voting delegates), one appointed (non-voting) delegate, and the Past President. All Executive Committee members, except for the appointed delegate, must be state or territorial Statistical Analysis Center Directors.
In 1968, the U.S. Congress passed the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act. Declaring that "crime is a local problem that demands local solutions," the legislation created the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) to provide funding to states for improving the criminal justice system.
The National Criminal Justice Information and Statistics Service (NCJISS) was established under LEAA to collect, evaluate, publish, and disseminate statistics and other information on law enforcement. The service began operating in 1970; in 1972, it announced the founding of the Comprehensive Data Systems (CDS) program. Under the CDS program states received federal funding for several purposes including: establishment of Statistical Analysis Centers as the nucleus for coordinating each state's criminal justice system and statistics activities. Later that year, SACs were established in seven states, and three existing statistical agencies were officially designated as Statistical Analysis Centers.
In 1974, the SACs created the Criminal Justice Statistics Association (CJSA) to promote the exchange of information among the SACs and enable them to work together toward common goals, and to serve as a liaison between the state agencies and Justice Department. By 1976, when the Association was incorporated as a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization, 34 states and the District of Columbia had Statistical Analysis Centers.
Upon termination of LEAA in 1980, 41 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico had SACs. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), which was established in 1979, took over the Federal role in funding SAC research and statistics activities, although BJS funds are not designed to fully support the SACs. Many states had already begun to fully or partially fund their SACs, whose primary role is to collect, analyze, and disseminate policy-relevant data for state decision makers. BJS provides funds for the SACs under the State Justice Statistics Program.
In 1991, CJSA changed its name to the Justice Research and Statistics Association (JRSA), better to reflect the expansion of roles over the years on the part of both the SACs and the Association. Read more about JRSA's history.
JRSA maintains an office in Washington, DC to carry out the activities of the association. The JRSA Executive Director, who serves at the pleasure of the Executive Committee, oversees the performance of all staff members.
Location and Hours:
720 7th Street NW, Third Floor, Washington, DC 20001.
© 1998-2016, Justice Research and Statistics Association (JRSA). All rights reserved.