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  SAC Spotlight: New York


Key programs and priorities of the New York SAC include the following:

Crime Reporting
The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), Office of Justice Research and Performance (OJRP) manages the New York State Crime Reporting Program, which collects crime and arrest reports from over 500 New York State police departments and sheriffs’ offices. The New York SAC compiles these reports as New York’s official crime statistics and submits them to the FBI under the National Uniform Crime Reporting Program. Data are also used to report on crime trends, inform the law enforcement community and the public (media, special interest groups, academia), and support funding and policy decisions.

In recent years, OJRP has made several improvements to the Uniform Crime Reporting Program. Crime data are now submitted by law enforcement through an automated interface available through the state’s secure law enforcement portal. The interface supports the upload of Incident Based Reporting (IBR) system files and the entry of Summary crime reports by each contributor. Data quality improvements have included the development of management and exception reports, allowing reporting errors to be quickly detected and corrected by reporting agencies. In addition, the SAC has emphasized the importance of timely and accurate homicide data, and invests significant time tracking this important information. The homicide tracking helps to ensure that policy makers can rely on the accuracy of the SAC’s monthly, quarterly, and annual homicide reports, as well as a special annual report on domestic homicide.

Results First Cost Benefit Analysis
Cost benefit analysis has long been a standard practice of the private sector and recently has been used increasingly for government decision making and shaping social policy. In 2012, New York engaged with the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative to adapt their Results First cost benefit analysis model for use in New York State. The New York SAC is the lead agency for technical implementation and has constructed a comprehensive cost benefit program to serve the State’s public safety sector. After nearly two years of data collection and analysis, OJRP has released two cost benefit reports and produced numerous analyses which have been used by the State’s criminal justice leaders to examine New York’s investment in alternatives-to-incarceration programming. The Results First cost benefit work performed by the SAC has helped the State become more systematic in its approach to funding and evaluating programs with award decisions now carefully considering both per unit program delivery costs and also expected public safety benefits.

Alternative to Incarceration (ATI) Fidelity and Evaluation System
Through its local assistance program, DCJS supports more than 100 programs that serve nearly 20,000 justice-involved individuals annually. In order for programs to achieve their intended results, they must be delivered as designed, or implemented with fidelity. In 2014, the New York SAC implemented a new system of fidelity reviews using the Evidence-Based Correctional Program Checklist (CPC) developed by the University of Cincinnati. The CPC is a structured assessment that examines a program’s adherence to principles of effective correctional practice and provides recommendations for improving the quality of service delivery. In addition to the fidelity review process, OJRP also collects participant data from each ATI service provider to confirm that the individuals being served match the program requirements. Program completion rates are closely monitored by the SAC. Additionally, a comprehensive program outcome evaluation system has been put in place to analyze recidivism rates of participants compared to carefully constructed comparison groups. Studies have been recently completed on the residential stabilization programs and the re-entry employment program models. Both models were shown to reduce recidivism. Together, these efforts provide policy makers and decision-makers with clear feedback on program effectiveness while emphasizing continuous program improvement.

Recidivism Risk Score Development and Validation
Like many states, New York uses risk and need assessment instruments at many phases of the criminal justice system. The New York SAC has expertise in the development and validation of risk assessment tools, and has developed an automated risk score which uses administrative data to predict reconviction among individuals released from state prison. Information on needs is collected through a different instrument. New York also uses two vendor-based risk and needs assessment instruments for adult and juvenile probation, and the SAC has conducted validation studies on both of these instruments.

Juvenile Justice Support
The New York SAC works closely with juvenile justice program staff and provides research support. The SAC has developed and published county juvenile justice profiles for use by New York State’s Regional Youth Justice Teams and county-level juvenile justice stakeholders. The profiles include juvenile justice data collected and compiled from several state and local agencies, and provide multi-year trends. The SAC also provides support for the preparation of the OJJDP Title II Formula Grants Application and works closely with the state Office of Children and Family Services on juvenile justice recidivism studies.

Statistical Services
DCJS houses the State’s criminal history repository, which provides the foundation for the majority of the analytical work that is conducted. The analytical files derived from the repository include adult arrest, court processing, and corrections information. The files support internal and external research as well as responses to hundreds of data requests from the public, policy makers, and program staff. The SAC also prepares a wide range of statistical summary reports with county and regional detail. Many of these reports are published on the statistics page of DCJS’ website (Statistics), including:

  • Crime Trends and Rates
  • Adult and Juvenile Arrests
  • Disposition of Adult Arrests
  • Juvenile Justice Processing - County Profiles
  • Jail Populations Trends
  • Probationer Felony Re-arrest Rates

The SAC also posts many criminal justice-related data sets on the Open NY Data website (Open NY Data).

Support for Outside Research
The New York SAC coordinates the outside research requests for the agency, working closely with researchers on projects that include program evaluations, development of pretrial risk assessment tools, and analysis of criminal justice trends. The SAC develops and prepares all research files using data from the criminal history repository as well as other data sources. The SAC also administers agreements with, and ensures the application of, appropriate procedures to address confidentiality laws and standards surrounding information maintenance, analysis, and dissemination.

Integrating Lean into the DCJS Performance Program
The New York SAC coordinates the DCJS performance program, which includes a comprehensive system to report on internal performance metrics as well as a wide range of criminal justice trends. When the State launched a Lean initiative to improve the efficiency of government operations, responsibility for implementing Lean within DCJS was assumed by the performance team within the SAC. Lean is a systematic method for streamlining processes with input from those most involved, while fully incorporating the perspective of the customer. By integrating Lean projects into an overall performance improvement system, DCJS will have a systemic approach to identifying process improvements that will assist the agency in meeting its mission in the most efficient and effective manner.

About the SAC
Key Personnel

SAC Spotlight Archive

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