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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING
LOCAL CRIME DATA

What are local crime data?
Title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, which describes the JABG Program, requires that states allocate funds to localities based on a formula consisting (in part) of Part I violent crime data. Part I violent crimes are defined as: "murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault as reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for purposes of the Uniform Crime Reports." For more information, please see the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program Methodology.

Where do local crime data come from?
Individual police agencies, including police and sheriffs' departments, and specialized policing units, such as university and transit police, report crime counts to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, either through a state UCR program or directly to the FBI. In the UCR program, these reporting agencies are called ORIs. ORI originally meant "Originating Agency Identifier," but now the acronym is synonymous with "reporting agency" in the UCR program, and "ORI number" refers to the reporting agency's unique identification number.

Does the UCR cover all localities?
Not all police departments report crime to the FBI. Many smaller counties and cities have no serious crime or have no police department; some localities that do have violent crime do not participate in the UCR program for various reasons. However, over 16,000 police agencies, covering 95% of the U.S. population, participate in the UCR program.

Does the UCR have any shortcomings other than nonreporting that might affect my state?
Some states' statutes are not consistent with FBI definitions, or a state may be unable to comply with UCR reporting procedures. If this is the case, the state's data are not available through the UCR program. For example, the Florida state UCR program was not able to comply with UCR reporting rules in 1996, and the FBI would not accept its data. In this case, however, JRSA obtained the annual Part 1 violent crime counts for Florida localities directly from the Florida state UCR program.

Occasionally a local agency will be late in reporting its crime data to the state UCR program. As a result, this agency's data may miss the deadline set by the FBI. In such cases, the data are not included in the annual data set when it is released.

Another situation affecting the availability of data from the UCR program arises with the implementation of the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) in recent years. Some states that have switched to the new NIBRS system were unable to report data under the old system and hence are not included in the UCR files.

Due to these shortcomings, the UCR data are analyzed for completeness by JRSA. In situations where the data set is not complete, supplemental data may be received from agencies, or state data may be received from the state UCR program. When these data are more complete than the FBI's UCR data, these data are used instead. For further discussion and to see a list of states for which supplemental data are used, see the Use of Supplemental Data.

How do I know whether some of these shortcomings apply to my state?
The state JABG administrators will be notified when this occurs, and it will be posted on the state page. States do, however, have the right to request that state or supplemental data not be included, just as they have the right to request the use of state data in other instances.

How do we match crime data to the justice expenditure data for local units of government?
Fortunately, BJS and the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research have developed the Law Enforcement Agency Identifiers Crosswalk. The crosswalk file was designed to provide geographic and other identification information for each record included in either the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) files or BJS's Directory of Law Enforcement Agencies. The main variables for each record are the UCR originating agency identifier number, agency name, mailing address, Census Bureau's government identification number, UCR state and county codes, and Federal Information Processing Standards state, county, and place codes. These variables make it possible for researchers to match data based on either UCR identification information or Census Bureau identification information. JRSA updates this crosswalk annually and ensures that any localities that are not matched are checked by hand. The original Crosswalk can be found at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data, under study number 4082.

What else will JRSA provide?
JRSA will provide a list of all agencies with an allocation over the $10,000 threshold. JRSA will also provide a list of localities that did not report either crime or expenditure data, as well as a list of localities that dropped below the $10,000 threshold. All data sets used by JRSA are also available upon request.

Which three years will be used to compute the average?
Generally, the FBI releases crime data roughly two years after collection. As a result, the three years typically used are four through two years out. For example, the FY 2011 calculations include 2007, 2008 and 2009 crime data. Each year an additional year of crime data are added to the formula. The exception is FY2000, when the crime data were released after the JAIBG calculations had been released.

Fiscal Year Crime Data Years Used
FY2012 2008 - 2010
FY2011 2007 - 2009
FY2010 2006 - 2008
FY2009 2005 - 2007
FY2008 2004 - 2006
FY2007 2003 - 2005
FY2006 2002 - 2004
FY2005 2001 - 2003
FY2004 2000 - 2002
FY2003 1999 - 2001
FY2002 1998 - 2000
FY2001 1997 - 1999
FY 2000 1995 - 1997
FY1999 1995 - 1997
FY1998 1994 - 1996

Exceptions
Due to issues in reporting to the UCR program, some data sets may not provide enough information for use in the formula. The following table lists the states for which different years of data or where state data rather than FBI data were used in the formula.

FY 2012 FY 2011 FY 2010 FY 2009 FY 2008
Illinois (08-10 State) Illinois (07-09 State) Alabama (06 State, 07-08 FBI) Alabama (05-06 State, 07 FBI) Alabama (04 FBI, 05-06 State)
West Virginia (08-09 FBI, 10 State)   Connecticut (06 State, 07-08 FBI) Connecticut (05 FBI, 06 State, 07 FBI) Connecticut (04-05 FBI, 06 State)
    Illinois (06-08 State) Illinois (05-07 State) Illinois (04-06 State)
        Montana (04 State, 05-06 FBI)
        New Hampshire (04 State, 05-06 FBI)


FY 2007 FY 2006 FY 2005 FY 2004 FY 2003
Alabama (03-04 FBI, 05 State) Alaska (01-02, 04) Alaska (00-02) Alabama (99, 01-02) Alabama (98-99, 01)
Alaska (02, 04-05) Delaware (01-02, 04) Illinois (01-03 State) Illinois (00-02 State) Illinois (99-01 State)
Delaware (02, 04-05) Illinois (02-04 State) Kansas (02 FBI, 01 and 03 State) Kansas (00-01 State, 02 FBI) Kansas (92-94)
Illinois (03-05 State) Kansas (02 FBI, 03 State, 04 FBI) Kentucky (01-03 State) Kentucky (00-02 State) Kentucky (93-95)
Kansas (03 State, 04-05 FBI) Kentucky (02-03 State, 04) Montana (01-03 State) Montana (00-02 State) Maryland (98-99, 01)
Kentucky (03 State, 04-05 FBI) Montana (02-04) New Hampshire (01-03 State) New Hampshire (94-95 FBI, 02 State) Montana (95, 97, 00)
Montana (03-04 State, 05 FBI) New Hampshire (02-04 State) Vermont (01-02 FBI, 03 State)   New Hampshire (94-96)
New Hampshire (03-04 State, 05 FBI) Vermont (02, 03 State, 04 FBI)      
Vermont (03 State, 04-05 FBI) West Virginia (02 FBI, 03 State, 04)      
West Virginia (03 State, 04-05 FBI)        


FY 2002 FY 2001 FY 2000 FY 1999 FY 1998
Alabama (97-99) Illinois (90-92) Florida (94-95, 97) Florida (94-95, 97) Illinois (90-92)
Alaska (97-99) Kansas (92-94) Illinois (90-92) Illinois (90-92) Kansas (92-94)
Delaware (97-99) Kentucky (93-95) Kansas (92-94) Kansas (92-94) Kentucky (93-95)
Kansas (92-94) Maryland (96-98) Kentucky (93-95) Kentucky (93-95) Montana (93-95)
Kentucky (93-95) Montana (94-95, 97) Montana (94-95, 97) Montana (94-95, 97)  
Maryland (97-98, 00) New Hampshire (94-96) New Hampshire (94-96) New Hampshire (94-96)  
Montana (95, 97, 00) Vermont (95, 98-99) Vermont (94-96) Vermont (94-96)  
New Hampshire (94-96) West Virginia (96-98)      
Vermont (95, 98-99) Wisconsin (96-97, 99)      
West Virginia (96-98)        
Wisconsin (97, 99-00)        


Does my state have to use the FBI data in our JABG formula computations?
No. The legislation states that "if the State has reason to believe that the reported rates of Part I violent crimes or law enforcement expenditure for a unit of local government is insufficient or inaccurate, the State shall . . . if necessary, use the best available comparable data regarding the number of violent crimes or law enforcement expenditures for the relevant years for the unit of local government." States with state UCR programs may have more current, and perhaps more comprehensive, Part I violent crime data. To see if such data are available for your state, contact JRSA.