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Examining the Recidivism of Sex Offenders Using State Criminal History and Sex Offender Registry Data

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $114,334)

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 Illinois Statistical Analysis Center (ISAC) is located in the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA). The ICJIA was created in 1983 and is located in the executive branch of state government, within the Public Safety domain of state agencies. The SAC is directly involved in providing research and evaluation support to the ICJIA, including conducting data analysis to identify areas of high need for strategic Request for Applications development, identifying evidence based practices for program development, conducting program evaluation studies, and developing web-based criminal justice-related data resources for grantees submitting funding proposals.

The SAC is faced with the challenge of understanding, quantifying and producing relevant recidivism rates. While recidivism can be measured through many types of crime the SAC believe that examining the recidivism rates of sex offenders using state criminal history and sex offender registry data will prove beneficial to the development of future legislation.

Under this award, the SAC will use Illinois Criminal History Record Improvement (CHRI) data from the Illinois State Police in conjunction with Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) data and Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice data to conduct a detailed recidivism analysis on the entire population of persons on the sex offender registry in Illinois (approximately 29,000 registrants). One objective of the study is to more precisely determine differences in risks related to sex offender recidivism. Various techniques will be used to match subjects across these datasets as well as conduct analyses to determine whether inclusion of additional time-at-risk data result in different recidivism rates. Arrests recorded in CHRI after the registration-initiating offense will be the primary recidivism measure. CHRI records will also allow for examination of any differences between arrest and conviction charges for the registration-initiating offense, as well as geographic mobility within the state over time. The IDOC data will be used to more precisely determine opportunity for offending in the community during the course of individuals' recidivism time period, as well as examine registration compliance of those released from IDOC in the most recent years.

The final report will include: a description of the characteristics of the sex offenders currently on the SOR; the recidivism rate of this group as a whole as well as the of the various sub-groups of registrants; the extent to which the quality of the statewide data sources used is adequate for this statistical purpose; and the extent to which information on the SOR changed from one year to the next. (CA/NCF)

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

Date Created: September 22, 2017