The Justice Research and Statistics Association and the National Criminal Justice Association entered into an affiliation in August with the signing of an agreement by the leadership of both associations during the 2013 National Forum on Criminal Justice held in Chicago. Both organizations will retain their names, websites, and logos during an 18-month transition period beginning October 1. JRSA staff will move into the NCJA offices, and JRSA and NCJA will share the cost of administrative services while continuing to maintain separate accounting, membership, and governance structures. During this period, a working group made up of three representatives from JRSA and three representatives from NCJA will examine options for formalizing the relationship between the organizations.
The affiliation agreement was announced by Jack Cutrone, NCJA President, and Phil Stevenson, JRSA President, during the opening ceremony of the National Forum. Mr. Cutrone called the affiliation "an opportunity for increased collaboration" and said he looked forward to the organizations' providing "robust services and assistance" to their members and to the justice community at large. Dr. Stevenson remarked on the benefits of the affiliation as well:
During the 16 years I have worked for Statistical Analysis Centers in Illinois and Arizona, I have seen many examples of effective partnerships between SAAs and SACs. These partnerships, where research and policy meet, hold great promise for enabling the implementation of data-driven decision making and evidence-based practices that will enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of each state's criminal justice system. And for SACs and SAAs that aren't co-located or haven't yet developed a strong working relationship, this affiliation between the organizations provides new opportunities for sharing information and collaborating on projects.
The National Criminal Justice Association represents state, tribal, and local criminal and juvenile justice practitioners, including those who work in State Administering Agencies (SAAs). SAAs are entities within state and territorial governments responsible for comprehensive criminal justice planning and policy development. In 66 percent of states, the SAC is co-located with the SAA, and in most states, the SAC and SAA already have an established working relationship.
As increasing emphasis is placed on evidence-based practices and measuring the performance of justice system initiatives, the SACs' work in the collection and analysis of justice data and the SAAs' work in the policy arena at the state and federal levels will support each other and lead to more informed decision and policy making for all.
Phillip Stevenson, Arizona SAC Director and JRSA President (l.), and Jack Cutrone, Executive Director, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority and NCJA President, sign JRSA-NCJA affiliation agreement.