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Performance Measures for Oregon Justice Reinvestment Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $59,742)

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.

Since 1993, the Oregon Statistical Analysis Center (OR SAC) has been housed in the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) which became the State Administering Agency (SAA) in 2008. Under this award, the OR SAC will use funds under FY 2014 SJS area Core Capacity Building (B) Measuring criminal justice system "performance." In July 2013 the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 3194, which is Oregon's Justice Reinvestment bill. The bill includes several sentencing changes, changes to probation conditions, standards for reentry courts and other specialty courts, changes to the statewide standard of the definition of recidivism, and creates the Oregon Center for Policing Excellence, a Justice Reinvestment Program (JRP), and a Task Force on Public Safety. The CJC has been tasked with the implementation of the JRP. The JRP bill directs the CJC to administer grants to Oregon's 36 counties. The combined grant funds total is 15 million and the grants are to be awarded to counties that "establish a process to assess offenders and provide a continuum of community-based sanctions, services and programs that are designed to reduce recidivism and decrease the county's utilization of imprisonment in a Department of Corrections institution while protecting public safety and holding offenders accountable" (Section 53, House Bill 3194 (2013)).

The OR SAC will use funds to establish the methodology and appropriate data to measure the goals and assess the outcomes of the JRP. HB 3194 contemplates not only reducing recidivism and controlling prison use; the legislature demands that the state's overall public safety is paramount during the implementation of the bill. To measure public safety the SAC is working with Oregon State Police (OSP) to establish more user friendly and timely statewide crime reporting. Currently OSP publishes reported crime in Oregon's four largest cities before compiling the statewide report on crime that is often delayed while smaller agencies furnish data to OSP. The SAC will work with OSP to expand this early publishing of crime data to the five most populous counties in Oregon. These five counties account for 62% or Oregon's state prison use, and to be able to analyze reported crime data in these counties in a more timely fashion would not only benefit the Justice Reinvestment Program, but also county officials and other stakeholders. The Oregon SAC will also work on measuring recidivism at the county level in new ways. The standard definition of recidivism in the past was the reconviction of a felony within three years, but the SAC now has access to electronic arrest and court case data, and can look at other definitions of recidivism at the county level. The SAC has already done some of this work in program evaluations, and would expand that to include timely reports of different types of recidivism by county. The current cohort sample sizes statewide are 2,900 - 3,000 for those released from prison, and 3,900 - 4,500 for those sentenced to probation. The recidivism counts will be compared to the previous year using a t-test, or Fisher's exact test for smaller sample sizes. This level of detail and data sharing will enhance the current capabilities of the SAC, while also providing useful and timely data to county and state stakeholders around the JRP outcomes and goals. This project allows the SAC to measure criminal justice system performance, and demonstrates a new area of analysis for the SAC.(CA/NCF)

Date Created: August 13, 2014