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Improve Access to Multi-Sector Data for Criminal Justice Research

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $184,334)

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 Washington State Statistical Analysis Center (WA SAC) is located in the Health and Human Services Section of the Washington State Office of Financial Management’s (OFM) Forecasting and Research Division. This designation was made by Gov. Booth Gardner in May 1989 through Executive Order 89-03. OFM, as the state’s central management agency and as the governor’s budget and policy office, is uniquely positioned to facilitate, implement and coordinate an integrated approach to research and forecasting for justice-related programs.

Under this award, the WA SAC has proposed two projects – One Core Capacity and One Special Emphasis.

Under the core capacity project, the WA SAC proposes to redesign and increase access to data on its website. The SAC believes the redesign of the website, to improve functionality and appeal, will increase its use by policy and other decision makers. The SAC will use funding to contract with a firm that specializes in public relations to assist in developing a brand that describes the work and value the SAC provides to policymakers, researchers and the general public. This work will also include a website redesign to improve layout, navigation, usefulness, ensure 508-compliance and appeal. The firm will be asked to review the functionality of the SAC’s current online tools and provide recommendations for improving their function.

Work under this proposal will also include development of interactive mapping capacity on the SAC website using ArcGIS as well as linking criminal justice data with measures of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), education and income at sub-state level geography. The SAC intends this mapping project to be the first step toward integrating the ACEs data with education, workforce and criminal justice data. At a later date, the SAC will conduct a more robust analysis of how ACEs factors affect criminal activity.

Under the special emphasis project, the WA SAC proposes to expand and strengthen cross-sector research in Washington State by entering into an affiliation agreement with the Washington State Education Research and Data Center (ERDC). This partnership will build upon the centers’ current collaborative research activities under the 2014 SJS award and will leverage their existing infrastructures to develop the capacity for conducting multi-sector research. The ERDC has built a data warehouse with longitudinally-linked individual data from multiple sectors including early learning, K-12 education, K-12 discipline, higher education, and workforce data. With the assistance of the SAC, several criminal justice data sources will be added to the data warehouse. A key component of this special emphasis project is using administrative or operational criminal justice data for research.


Date Created: September 29, 2015