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Special Emphasis - Montana Crime Victimization SurveyCore Capacity - Montana Statewide Jail Survey and Detention Data Information System Improvements

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Awardee County
Lewis and Clark
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $187,518)

The State Justice Statistics (SJS) Program is designed to maintain and enhance each state's capacity to address criminal justice issues through collection and analysis of data. The SJS Program provides support to each state to coordinate and conduct statistical activities within the state, conduct research to estimate impacts of legislative and policy changes, and serve as a liaison in assisting BJS to gather data from respondent agencies within their states.

The Montana Board of Crime Control (MBCC) has served as the designated state criminal justice planning and program development agency since 1968. It is also the statewide administrative agency (SAA) for federal criminal justice grants. It provides policy analysis to the Governor, Legislature, and law enforcement agencies at the local and state level to use in developing and evaluating criminal and juvenile justice policies and issues. The staff of the MBCC consists of two administrative bureaus: Compliance/Performance Bureau, and the Public Safety and Community Justice Bureau. The Montana Statistical Analysis Center (MSAC), organized under the Compliance/Performance Bureau, analyzes and publishes data from statewide data sources, and oversees the information technology available to both the staff of MBCC and the Board itself. The MSAC was officially established within the MBCC by executive order of the Governor on July 6, 1991.

Under this award, the MSAC will use funds under the following two FY 2014 SJS Areas: Special Emphasis C. Conducting statewide crime victimization surveys; and Core Capacity Building B. Measuring criminal justice system "performance." In partnership with the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana, the MSAC will conduct a victimization survey that builds on the state's 2010 crime victimization survey in order to better understand victimization trends while also focusing on victimization related to the increasing oil development in Northeastern Montana. The proposed study will provide much needed data on the current state of facilities and services that are available to crime victims in Montana. The study will also provide data on drug-related crime victimization and public perceptions of fear of drug related crime. This data will also provide an opportunity to analyze Montana's Incident-Based data (compatible with the National Incident-Based Reporting System) to estimate how many more crimes occur that go unreported to law enforcement. The MSAC will also use funds to enhance and expand on work previously done in Montana regarding the management of jail populations in the state and the collection of data from/about that population. The MSAC will design, pretest, and administer a jail usage survey. The objective of the proposed research is to develop core-capacity capabilities that will enable the State of Montana, Montana's Association of Counties, and the local sheriff's overseeing jail operations to effectively and systematically monitor and evaluate jail population within the state and local jurisdictions. The data from the survey will provide critical information needed to implement necessary changes associated with the population of offenders in secure placement within the county jails and the practitioners who are tasked with their care. The development of a systematic data collection process will facilitate state and Federal level reporting requirements for data that are difficult to manage at the present time. (CA/NCF)

Date Created: September 2, 2014