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Welcome Aboard!


A Message from JRSA's President

Congratulations on your appointment as director of the Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) in your state. As the SAC director, you are a key part of a comprehensive, nationwide network of fellow SAC directors, staff, and justice policy researchers. The Justice Research and Statistics Association (JRSA) and its members are fully committed to being a valuable resource for you as you begin your new responsibilities as a SAC director!

Additionally, I hope and expect that you will be an active part of our team! The true value of an organization like JRSA is derived from its talented and respected membership. Thus, I strongly encourage you to get involved and bring your own unique skills and talents forward in an effort to benefit the Association as well as your fellow members. There is no shortage of opportunities for you to participate, and I believe your involvement will enhance your own work as a SAC director in return.

As SAC director, you serve as your state's representative to the Justice Research and Statistics Association and are automatically a voting member. JRSA promotes policy-oriented research and analysis at all levels of government and is as a unique resource for state criminal justice information.

There are a number of great benefits to being a member of JRSA. You will receive The JRSA Forum newsletter; grant notes, etc., periodic notices about federal funding opportunities; and E-News, a monthly bulletin about publications, events, and SAC news. You are also entitled to discounts on registration fees for our conferences and professional seminars and eligible to receive technical assistance through the Mutual Assistance Program. All of the member benefits, including the Mutual Assistance Program, are described in this Manual.

JRSA maintains a clearinghouse of information regarding SAC activities, called the Infobase of SAC Activities and Research (ISAR); you will learn more about ISAR from Karen Maline, who manages JRSA's member services. We also have online communities that allow SACs and JRSA staff to post questions, responses and comments in threaded discussions about what states are doing on various criminal and juvenile justice issues. This is a great tool for keeping SACs connected and obtaining quick answers to questions you might have about how other states are dealing with specific research and evaluation issues. To register for and use these communities of interest, simply go to http://www.jrsa.org/communities/intro.html. I anticipate you will be pleasantly surprised with the highly informed comments and responses you receive from your colleagues in other states!

The JRSA web site at www.jrsa.org contains valuable resources, including links to each SAC (click on the map on the home page); links to Justice Department agencies and justice-related organizations; and JRSA publications. You might find the SAC Publication Digest particularly useful; see http://www.jrsa.org/pubs/sac-digest/index.html. If you click on "About JRSA" on the banner, you will find a list of the JRSA Executive Committee members, staff, and other helpful information.

JRSA Executive Director Jeffrey Sedgwick has prepared the SAC Director's Manual with background information about JRSA, the SACs, and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, our partner in the U.S. Department of Justice. JRSA charges very modest state dues, which enable the Association to support activities for members that are not possible with grant funds. Your dues also entitle you to a subscription to Justice Research and Policy, JRSA's semiannual peer-reviewed journal. Invoices for dues are sent to SACs annually in May.

Please plan to join us for the next NCJA/JRSA National Forum on August 2-4 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Forum is a wonderful opportunity for you to meet fellow SAC directors and staff, as well as become acquainted with the justice research and policy issues of foremost concern in the states. We strongly urge you to attend the post-Forum JRSA Member Meeting scheduled for 9:00-11:30am on Wednesday, August 5th where we will roll out JRSA's new Strategic Plan.

If you have any questions about the Association, please feel free to contact JRSA Executive Director Jeffrey Sedgwick or Karen Maline. You may also reach out to me, as your President [Stephen.M.Haas@wv.gov or 304/558-8814, ext. 53338]. I would welcome the opportunity to get to know you and assist you in any way that I can. I look forward to working with you, and hope to see you in Atlanta!

Sincerely,

Stephen M. Haas
West Virginia SAC Director and JRSA President