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Building Capacity: Integration and Examination of Drug Court Data in Mississippi

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $60,696)

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 School of Criminal Justice at the University of Mississippi was designated as Mississippi’s Statistical Analysis Center (MS-SAC) by Governor Musgrove on October 6, 2000. The mission of the MS-SAC is to provide Mississippi justice agencies and the public with sound statistical information and technical assistance in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system. The day-to-day operations of the SAC are managed by the SAC director with assistance from graduate students who serve as research analysts.

The Mississippi Statistical Analysis Center (MS-SAC) proposes to conduct a project under the following Core Capacity area: Increasing access to statistical data. There is a pressing need for the MS-SAC to work with the Mississippi Administrative Office of Courts (AOC) and local drug courts to develop data collection strategies that successfully integrate the nature and type of data collection occurring at the state and local levels and assist in the ability of the state to evaluate drug court programs using a reliable and valid methodology. Given the growth of drug court programs throughout the state, coupled with the continued collection of data by the Mississippi AOC, the MS-SAC now has the opportunity to conduct more advanced statistical analysis, including longitudinal analysis, to assess the performance and effectiveness of Mississippi drug court programs over two decades.

The MS-SAC is proposing to examine data currently maintained on the state and local level regarding the operation of drug court programs in Mississippi. The MS-SAC will review and collect data from official program records, as well as interview judges and drug program coordinators at 5 adult and 5 juvenile sites to discuss the manner in which drug programs are administered. Visits will also be made to the AOC which oversees the establishment, implementation, and operation of drug courts throughout the state. While on-site, MS-SAC staff will review and collect data from official program records at the AOC, as well as interview the project coordinator for the Drug Courts Program. The data collection will commence over a twelve month period, with analysis and report writing occurring during the final four months. A final report will be made available in print to BJS, relevant policymakers, and public officials at the conclusion of the project. This project is slated to significantly increase the core capacity of the MS-SAC, enhance access to statistical data, and allow the MS-SAC to be responsive to the needs of state and local stakeholders for current and integrated data regarding drug courts. (CA/NCF)

Note: This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law.

Date Created: September 19, 2016