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Increasing Access to Statistical Data in Tennessee

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $64,782)

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 Tennessee Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) located within the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), was established by Executive Order and mandated by legislation to act as a clearinghouse for statewide criminal justice statistics and to operate the statewide Uniform Crime Reporting Program. The broad goals of the SAC are: 1) act as a central coordination point for federal support, with technical assistance available to help criminal justice agencies in the statistical analysis process; 2) coordinate the flow and exchange of information statistics for all criminal justice agencies in the state; 3) locate, utilize, and coordinate resource personnel to provide expertise to criminal justice agencies on developments in criminal justice statistics and to assist these agencies in the development of public policy; and, 4) continue to design, create, and coordinate the development and management of databases for statistical information for both state and local criminal justice agencies and policymakers to improve the decision making process. The SAC continues to operate under the supervision of a Director with assistance from nine support specialists from TBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Support Center.

Under this award, the Tennessee SAC will conduct activities under the following Core Capacity area: Increasing access to statistical data. The two main goals of the proposal are to (1) Build capacity of TnCrimeonline system to process, analyze and disseminate crime data to positively impact statewide policing, legislation, and education, and (2) Build the capacity of the Tennessee Incident-Based Reporting System (TIBRS) to process, analyze and comply with the FBI’s National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) data reporting requirements and improve quality of data reported on TnCrimeonline. Three key projects will be implemented to address the state’s needs. The first project involves the development and dissemination of downloadable reports linking geocoded crime incidents with U.S. Census Tract data. These reports will respond to state and local law enforcement needs and improve problem-oriented policing. To improve the SAC’s capacity to control the quality of data being reported to TIBRS and to comply with the FBI’s Use of Force data collection requirements in NIBRS, the SAC proposes to develop a quality report to improve the capacity to measure quality of use-of-force data reported in TIBRS. The report produced under this second project will certify that accurate data is submitted to NIBRS and published on TnCrimeonline; thus ensuring the new data being made available to constituents is high in quality. The third project to be conducted by the SAC will improve the capacity of quality reports to address new FBI data quality checks utilized in the submission of incident-based data reports to NIBRS. Deliverables anticipated include the development of new geocoded/census data reports, a new use-of-force quality report, and an improved incident-based quality report.

Funding is also being requested for the SAC Director and Grants Manager to travel to attend the National Criminal Justice Association Conference. (CA/NCF)

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

Date Created: September 19, 2017