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The Justice Research and Statistics Association joined the National Criminal Justice Association and IJIS Institute as a co-sponsor of the 2013 National Forum on Criminal Justice, which took place August 4-6 at the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile. The National Forum showcased programs, research, and technologies that help justice practitioners and decision makers in states, local communities, and tribal nations address pressing public safety issues. This year's conference focused on Integrating Research, Policy and Technology to Improve Public Safety. JRSA also conducted post-conference seminars on Wednesday August, 7th. For more information, visit the National Forum website. Speaker presentations for the JRSA workshop sessions will be posted as they become available. To view a speaker's presentation click on their name below session discription.

JRSA Workshop Sessions

Monday, August 5

1:45 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Using Administrative Records for Research and Policy

Administrative records have long been used by agencies for operational purposes; states are increasingly using such records for research purposes and to make policy decisions. To do so poses challenges related to the quality of data, legal or political considerations, concerns about confidentiality of records, and problems linking data from different sources and agencies. SACs will discuss the issues involved in such efforts, ways that researchers can overcome the problems, and the advantages of using administrative records to answer critical questions. Speakers: Max Schlueter, SAC Director, VT Center for Justice Research;Terry Salo, SAC Director, NY State Divison of Criminal Justice Services; Paul Stageberg, SAC Director, IA Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning; Moderator: Devon Adams, Bureau of Justice Statistics

3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

National and State-Level Victimization Data for Decisionmakers

For the past several years, the Bureau of Justice Statistics has been working on the redesign of the National Crime Victimization Survey. Researchers rely heavily on NCVS for information about the nature of victimization, including questions that cannot be answered by crime data collected by law enforcement agencies. A major drawback of NCVS to date has been the inability to disaggregate the data to the state level. BJS will provide an overview of the redesign and their efforts to provide subnational estimates based on samples drawn from the largest states. SAC Directors will discuss ways in which subnational estimates and complementary efforts can be useful to the states for research and planning, as well as an example of the data that a state-level victimization survey can provide. Speakers: William Sabol, Director, Bureau of Justice Statistics; Phillip Stevenson, SAC Director, Arizona Criminal Justice Commission; Marjorie Stanek, Research Coordinator, KY Justice and Public Safety Cabinet; Moderator: Janeena Wing, SAC Director, Idaho State Police

Tuesday, August 6

8:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.


Concerns about recidivism drive many decisions about sentencing, corrections, and diversionary programs, including budgeting for adequate facilities and knowing which programs to fund. For the past few years, BJS has worked with Nlets and NORC to develop a system to use standardized state criminal history records to study recidivism. This will be the first national study of recidivism since 1994, and will be the first time that automated data from the states will be made available to them in a way that enables them to use the data for critical decisionmaking. BJS will explain its project and the nature of the data that will be available to each state. In addition, the Illinois SAC will share the online tool it developed to track recidivism using criminal history records as well as other data. Speakers: Howard Snyder, Bureau of Justice Statistics; Mark Powers, IL Criminal Justice Information Authority; Moderator: Sue Burton, SAC Director, FL Department of Law Enforcement

10:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Multijurisdictional Law Enforcement Drug Task Forces (MJTFs)

Many states are using part of their Byrne/JAG money to fund MJTFs, which are cooperative law enforcement efforts involving two or more agencies from different jurisdictions working together to address the problem of drug crime. This session will provide information on efforts by the State Statistical Analysis Centers in Georgia and Illinois to assess the performance of their MJTFs, and the outcomes of those efforts. Speakers: Stefanie Lopez-Howard, SAC Director, GA Criminal Justice Coordinating Council; Mark Myrent, Research Director, IL Criminal Justice Information Authority; Moderator: Stan Orchowsky, Director of Research, Justice Research and Statistics Association

1:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

Implementing Evidence-Based Practices: Colorado's EPIC Initiative

The emerging field of "implementation science" has much to teach us about how to successfully take evidence-based practices to scale. This session will highlight the work of Colorado's Evidence-Based Practices Implementation for Capacity (EPIC) initiative. EPIC is employing a Transformation Team to educate professionals in Mental Health First Aid, Motivational Interviewing®, and identifying and addressing criminogenic needs, evidence-based interventions designed to improve the interaction skills of criminal justice professionals who are responsible for supervising or providing therapeutic services to offenders living in the community, thereby improving the outcomes of offenders on their caseloads. Speakers: Kim English, SAC Director, CO Department of Public Safety; Diane Pasini-Hill, CO Department of Public Safety; Discussant: Roger Przybylski, RKC Group; Moderator: Stephen Haas, SAC Director, WV Department of Justice and Community Services

Wednesday, August 7

JRSA Postconference Seminars

JRSA is also hosting two special postconference seminars that will run concurrently on Wednesday, August 7, from 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at Loyola University Chicago. The cost to attend is $150 per seminar for JRSA and NCJA members, and $195 for nonmembers. Register online.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Policy makers often decide where to invest limited tax revenues without having a way to estimate the expected return on that investment. Cost-benefit analysis, however, can provide policy makers with an estimate of the benefits of investing in a given program. This seminar will provide a step-by-step description of the methodology used to create a cost-benefit model for programs designed to reduce crime. We will discuss how to estimate tax payer and victimization costs of crime, and also how to use an effect size of a program to determine the estimated number of crimes avoided and the estimated benefit of avoiding them. This seminar is designed to be very practical, giving analysts the resources to develop a cost-benefit model in their state.

About the Instructor: Michael Wilson works around the country as a cost-benefit and criminal justice research consultant. In this role he works as a peer reviewer for the Washington State Institute of Public Policy's cost-benefit model and provides technical assistance in implementing cost-benefit models to multiple states. He also teaches cost-benefit seminars and webinars through the Vera Institute of Justice, the Pew Center on the States, the Crime and Justice Institute and the Justice Research and Statistics Association (JRSA).

In his previous position, Michael worked as an economist for the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) and as the Statistical Analysis Center Director. He analyzed sentencing policy and projected fiscal impacts for the Governor's Office and State Legislature. He also created the cost-benefit model for Oregon's criminal justice system. In addition to presenting this model nationally, he used it to help inform Oregon's Legislature, the Governor's Office, and other commissions and taskforces. He has been recognized by the JRSA for his criminal justice research in Oregon and has received the Phillip Hoke Award for Excellence in Analysis multiple times. Prior to joining the CJC he worked as an economist for the Oregon Employment Department and also worked as an adjunct faculty member at Point Loma Nazarene University. Michael received his bachelor's and master's degree in economics from the University of California at San Diego (UCSD).

Introduction to Propensity Score Matching and Interrupted Time Series Analysis Using SPSS

Criminal Justice research and evaluation is often challenged by the practical inability to use experimental designs with random assignment. Practical and ethical concerns arise when thinking about randomly assigning criminal justice-involved individuals to different treatments. Similarly, when evaluating the effectiveness of new programs or policies, it is extremely difficult to fully control real-world conditions surrounding the program's implementation. This workshop will provide an introduction to two powerful quasi-experimental tools designed to overcome these obstacles: Propensity Score Matching (PSM) and Interrupted Time Series Analysis.

Propensity Score Matching attempts to reduce selection bias when measuring the effect of a given intervention. In the absence of random assignment, PSM is used to account for factors that predict receiving the treatment and estimate a score to match subjects in the treatment group to viable comparisons, thus effectively ruling out selection biases.

A time series is a sequence of observations taken over an extended period of time. Interrupted Time Series Analysis (ITSA) is commonly used when the exact point in the series at which an intervention was implemented is known and the analyst hypothesizes that observations after the intervention will be at a different level than before the intervention (e.g., monthly firearm homicide rates might increase/decrease after gun control policies are implemented in a given jurisdiction). The workshop will introduce participants to the Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) model, which estimates the effect of an intervention by accounting for trends over time, periodicity, seasonality, lingering autoregressive effects (i.e. adjacent observations are correlated), and lingering effects of earlier random shocks (i.e. moving average).

The workshop will focus on the practical application of these two techniques using the IBM SPSS statistics software, thus some familiarity with SPSS and with linear and logistic regression models are assumed.

About the Instructor: Dr. Gipsy Escobar is a criminologist and faculty member in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Loyola University Chicago. She specializes in quantitative methods and has conducted evaluation research in different areas of criminal justice. Her research interests include the spatial study of social disorganization and crime in urban settings, social capital, violent crime, collective violence, domestic violence, recidivism, quantitative and spatial methods, and evaluation research.

For more information about the conference or to register, visit the National Forum website.


The Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Justice Research and Statistics Association sponsored national conferences for more than 25 years in order to bring together the state Statistical Analysis Centers (SACs), justice practitioners from other government agencies, and researchers to discuss current justice topics and promote the use of justice statistics and research in policy development. The Presentation Archive contains copies of presentations from 2001 – 2010.

Presentation Archive

Annual JRSA and BJS Awards

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