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FY 2015 WV's State Justice Statistics Program for Statistical Analysis Centers, 2015

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $209,041)

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 West Virginia Statistical Analysis Center is located within the Division of Justice and Community Services (WV DJCS) per Executive Order No. 3-97 and 42 U.S.C. 3732. As part of the Executive branch of state government, the Division of Justice and Community Services falls under the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety (DMAPS) and serves as the State Administering Agency (SAA). The SAC works very closely with the SAA to provide data analysis and research support for those involved in allocating justice related funding in the state.

Under this award, the WV SAC proposes two projects. The first project falls under the special emphasis program area and proposes to conduct state level crime victimization survey. The focus of this survey is to improve the understanding and better estimate the prevalence of and address issues related to crime victimization. As a predominately rural state, WV struggles greatly with the issue of unreported crime. Rural cultures tend to be close-knit and self-contained making the idea of reporting victimization to the police or other outsiders difficult. Service options are often limited in these communities as well. This taken together with the fact that victims are more likely to be acquainted with the perpetrator than in urban areas leads to low reporting rates. Local domestic violence and sexual assault service providers report contacts with many victims that are not accounted for in official crime data. The SAC will use the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) to prepare the core questions for the state level survey. The survey will include a screening question to randomly select one adult from each household contacted. The target population will focus on all adults age 18 and older statewide.

The second project falls under the core capacity program area. This project proposes to conduct a data quality audit of WV's criminal history records (CHR) system. This project is of particular importance to the state due to the current status of the CHR repository maintained by the WV State Police (WVSP). This project will replicate the methodology used in a 2005 audit of CHRs conducted by the SAC in 2005. Using a probability sampling methodology, this audit will allow for comparisons to the 2005 audit. In this way, this project will provide an assessment of the state's performance in its efforts to improve the quality of records in the system under the NCHIP program. The proposed audit will adhere to federal recommendations by assessing records for completeness, accuracy, and timeliness in terms of submissions. This project will be conducted by WV SAC staff with the cooperation of the West Virginia State Police.


Date Created: August 26, 2015