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Missouri Crime victimization Survey, Missouri Domestic Violence Survey, and Geographic Information Systems capabilities projects

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $201,951)

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 Missouri Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) was established and operates under authority of the Missouri Department of Public Safety (DPS). The SAC is placed within the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) in the Research and Development Division (RDD).

Under the SJS Core Capacity area, the SAC will use funds to increase access to statistical data. Currently, the MSHP does not have the capability to conduct geographic information system (GIS) analysis or publish it to web based applications. This prevents the SAC from providing beneficial and statistically sophisticated studies to policymakers, law enforcement officials, and the public. The SAC proposes to purchase software applications to implement GIS analysis. The SAC intends to conduct spatial analysis to provide interactive crime maps based on more in-depth analysis from the GIS mapping. With GIS capability, as more agencies in the state convert to NIBRS, the SAC will be well prepared to synthesize data related to geographic crime trends across the state. This will enhance all entities access and knowledge in geographic crime statistics as captured via NIBRS which in turn provides insight to other states and to BJS. Specifically, the SAC plans to utilize ArcGIS software to transition their website to a more analytical and useful reference instrument. Once the software is received, staff from the SAC will familiarize themselves with the functionality and capabilities of the new program. The SAC will then proceed with creation of simple maps to be published in their bi-monthly web reports. This will permit the SAC to identify any problems before creating an online interactive map for public use. Ultimately, the SAC plans to use their access to more data sources and provide the public with interactive crime maps which will greatly assist the understanding of crime in a user-friendly application.

The SAC will also use funds to conduct a domestic violence (DV) focused study. The SAC will work with Missouri State University to develop a study that uses GIS information and data derived from MSHP’s criminal history database in an effort to determine factors characteristic of DV offenses and offenders. In addition to the study, the SAC will present web based GIS findings for the benefit of the state, public, and other criminal justice agencies. The research project using MSHP’s increased technological capacity will examine how contextual, neighborhood level variables and individual level variables influence aggregated, DV-related variables across MO census tracts from 1990-2015. The analysis will examine DV offender recidivism (rearrested for any crime), specialization (rearrested for only DV), and escalation (Rearrested for a more serious DV charge).

Under the SJS special emphasis area, the SAC will conduct a statewide victimization survey. The SAC would like to measure citizen perceptions towards victimization and law enforcement. This project will benefit law enforcement as it will document whether crimes are going underreported and assist with strategic planning initiatives designed to improve law enforcement representation and response in underserved regions. Missouri offers a unique location for conducting a survey; with a broad range of diverse cultures, political ideologies and a variety of geographic subdivisions. This will provide BJS with highly beneficial and comprehensive data which will assist in the development of the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).


Date Created: September 1, 2015