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About SACs and JRSA


Mutual Assistance Program (MAP) for SACs

JRSA provides training and technical assistance to SACs through the Mutual Assistance Program (MAP) under a grant from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. SACs may request help on a wide range of topics such as research methodologies, innovative analytical techniques, sentencing guidelines, forecasting, policy impact evaluations, and review of publications.

Technical Assistance The Justice Research and Statistics Association established MAP in 1988 to match Statistical Analysis Centers (SACs) that need assistance with other SACs, JRSA staff, or criminal justice researchers who have expertise in the area of need. This program allows SACs to learn from one another and build state capacity in policy analysis, research, and data development, opening a channel of communication between SACs. SACs can ask JRSA, or use the "SAC Skills" component of the Infobase of State Activities and Research (ISAR), to identify an appropriate expert.

Peer Review JRSA also coordinates peer review to enable SAC directors to get feedback from their colleagues on projects and reports they are preparing for publication. The Association has adopted guidelines for independent, confidential review of SAC research reports and projects to provide SAC Directors with constructive comments and suggestions for improvement.

To apply for assistance or review, the SAC director should submit the "Request for Technical Assistance or Peer Review" form available from the SAC Login section of JRSA's website, at www.jrsa.org. The user name is "sacdirector" and the password is "sac2015." Using the online form, the SAC director should describe the problem or explain the need. JRSA staff will determine the type of assistance necessary to respond to the problem (telephone or on-site) and submit a proposal to BJS for approval. JRSA's State Justice Statistics grant covers travel expenses (if needed), but not the expert's time.

Requests for review should be made by the SAC director at least 30 days before the review is needed, using the form described above. A digital copy of the report to be reviewed should be submitted to JRSA as an email attachment, preferably in Word document format, to kmaline@jrsa.org at the time the online request form is completed and submitted. Information to consider including in the "Description of the publication" includes:

SAC Directors are encouraged to discuss requests by phone with JRSA before submitting a written request. Questions about the Mutual Assistance Program or its peer review component may be addressed either to Jeffrey L. Sedgwick, Executive Director, or Karen F. Maline, Member Information and Services, at jsedgwick@jrsa.org or kmaline@jrsa.org.