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Building Capacity through Data Visualization and Analysis

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $218,528)

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 Florida Statistical Analysis Center (FSAC) is a unit of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Organizationally, the SAC is part of the Office of Planning, Policy and Data Analysis within the Division of Criminal Justice Information. This location facilitates its use of the criminal history files and other FDLE-maintained data. FDLE houses the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), the Computerized Criminal History (CCH) files, the Offender-Based Tracking Statistics (OBTS) and the Automated Training Management System (ATMS) databases, among others. FDLE also houses expertise in the areas of data analysis, computer technology, and data collection processes. The SAC's goal is to inform practitioners and policy-makers about crime, criminal offenders and crime victims in Florida. To accomplish this goal the SAC transforms existing crime data into research data sets; identifies new data sources; and performs analysis to translate data into useful and understandable information.

Under this award the FSAC will conduct two projects: One Core Capacity and One Special Emphasis project.

Under the Core Capacity project, the FSAC will continue the efforts of the FY 17 project to expand the FSAC’s ability to develop new content and add historical content from Florida’s UCR data series to the FSAC’s website. In FY 18, the FSAC will expand the abilities of the website by purchasing data visualization software to develop and produce more advanced data analysis and information using available sources. The use of data visualization software will minimally provide the capacity to increase access to statistical data as follows:

A. Creating dashboards for offense and arrest data already published as data sets and spreadsheets. The dashboards will provide visualization of data in a variety of categories such as by county and jurisdiction, by offense type (violent, property, domestic violence), or longitudinally over time.

B. Making more detailed offense and arrest data available as dashboards are created. The use of dashboards will provide users the ability to select the level of detail wanted and just the information pertaining to their request rather than sifting through extensive spreadsheets.

Under the Special Emphasis project, the FSAC will conduct a study to ascertain recidivism patterns among juvenile and adult sexual offender populations by employing a 10-15 year observation period rather than the more traditional 3- or 5-year follow up. The study will use data from multiple sources including Florida’s Computerized Criminal History files, inmate and probationer records from the Florida Department of Corrections, juvenile records from the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, and sexual offender and predator records from Florida’s Sex Offender Registry. For the purpose of the project, offender recidivism will be defined as a measurement of the rate at which offenders commit other crimes, either by arrest or conviction, after the initial conviction for a sexual offense that puts them into the cohort. The analyses will address arrests/convictions that result from a technical violation of an offender’s probation or registration requirements as they do not denote genuine recidivating; excluding these events from recidivism analyses will provide a truer indication of recidivism among sexual offenders.


Date Created: September 21, 2018