JRSA Hosts Training and Technical Assistance Webinars
To foster the sharing of information and the transfer of knowledge among the states, JRSA holds webinars on a variety of topics for the state Statistical Analysis Centers. Funded by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, these webinars range from capacity-building training sessions to conference-like panels on an assortment of justice-related issues. The webinars are also open to JRSA members and the broader justice community.
Over the past three months JRSA hosted three webinars, described below. Please check JRSA's home page for announcements about future webinars and other training events.
Uses of Administrative Data from Jails: Virginia's Local Inmate Data System (LIDS)
More than 20,000 individuals are admitted to Virginia jails each month, and at any point in time those jails hold around 30,000 local, state, and federal inmates. Information for these inmates is stored in the state's Local Inmate Data System (LIDS). Maintained by the Compensation Board, LIDS was designed to determine the appropriate per diem payments that the state provides to local and regional jails.
Although LIDS is an administrative database created for a financial function, the Virginia Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) has made extensive use of the data for research and policy analysis. On May 1, Baron Blakley, Research Specialist at the SAC, highlighted the use of LIDS to analyze trends in the jail population, examine recidivism for local responsible offenders, and track the success of programs meant to keep individuals out of jail. Dr. Stan Orchowsky, JRSA Research Director, served as webinar moderator. Links to the webinar, webinar slides, and participant biographies are available on the Training and Technical Assistance Webinars page of JRSA's website.
National Crime Victimization Survey Sub-National Estimates: A BJS Update
The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) was originally designed to generate national estimates of the level and change in reported and unreported crime and incident characteristics. In recent years, however, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has been exploring a variety of approaches for using the NCVS to produce subnational estimates of victimization.
In a webinar held on April 10, Dr. Michael Planty, Chief of the Victimization Statistics Unit at BJS, discussed the potential utility of these subnational estimates for better understanding patterns of crime and victimization, and shared initial findings from BJS' efforts. These efforts have yielded both model-based estimates of violent and property crime in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, and a select set of estimates produced by reweighting existing NCVS sample in large states and metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs).
Visit JRSA's Training and Technical Assistance Webinars page to link to a copy of the webinar or to view the presentation slides.
Use of Incident-Based Data as an Analytical Tool to Address Policy
On March 27, Statistical Analysis Center Directors Rob McManus of South Carolina and Max Schlueter of Vermont participated in a webinar on the use of incident-based data as an analytical tool to address policy. Lisa Walbolt Wagner, JRSA Research Associate, served as moderator.
Mr. McManus presented findings from the report An Overview of Racial Disproportionality in Juvenile Arrests and Offenses in South Carolina, published in 2012. The report examined the decision to arrest but focused on race as a factor in the decision. South Carolina is a 100% incident-based reporting system state and more than 33,000 juvenile arrests were reported in the two-year period examined. Mr. McManus found that blacks were twice as likely to be arrested as white juveniles, but that this varied across the state.
Dr. Schlueter presented findings from his 2012 report An Analysis of Domestic Violence and Arrest Patterns in Vermont Using NIBRS Data. Vermont is also a 100% participation state, with 85 agencies reporting incident-based crime data to the state. This analysis focused on more than 10,000 domestic incidents that were reported between 2007 and 2011 to compare victim, offender, and offense characteristics, and, perhaps most importantly for policy analysis, the decision of law enforcement to arrest or issue a citation. Among the findings were that older male offenders committing intimate partner violence were most likely to be arrested and that rural law enforcement agencies were most likely to arrest.