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GIS-Mapping and Data Analytics and Examining the Recidivism Rate of Pennsylvania’s County Probation/Parole Population

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $225,000)

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 Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) is the State Administrative Agency (SAA), which also houses the state’s SAC. The SAC will use SJS FY20 funds for one core capacity project (GIS-Mapping Enhancement) and one special emphasis project (Examining Recidivism Rates).

For the GIS-Mapping Enhancement project, PCCD will use SJS funds to use GIS-mapping to enhance their visual representation of data, which will build upon the current PCCD’s digital dashboards (previously 2015 SJS funded) and GIS-mapping projects (2018 and 2019 SJS funded). PCCD’s SAC hosts a wide range of publicly available criminal justice data and statistics and mapping the data will continue to enhance the visualization and data analysis in addition to increasing the availability to relevant masses. Since using GIS-mapping in 2015, the spatial analysis of data allows policy makers to identify gaps in service and assist in the strategic development of solutions to meet those needs in addition to finding it is a valuable tool for detailed data analysis. For 2020, the PCCD intends to build on the GIS-mapping with five additional enhancements: 1) continued analysis of the school safety and security program; 2) continued distribution of naloxone throughout the Commonwealth; 3) analysis of gun violence data throughout the Commonwealth; 4) creating a new formula for the distribution of funding to county probation agencies; and 5) surveying of all law enforcement agencies for COVID-19 emergency relief funding.

For the Examining Recidivism rates project, PCCD will use SJS funds to continue build off the SAC’s pilot Automated Recidivism Calculator (ARC) project. PCCD is currently partnering with Cumberland County to leverage the existing ARC pilot to calculate recidivism rates on the County’s population of released county prisoners and probationers. Under SJS FY20, PCCD will use Cumberland County’s probation/parole data to generate a county template that the ARC can use to analyze and return recidivism results for other counties. In finalizing this pilot, PCCD will be able to provide important recidivism information on Cumberland County’s probation/parole population and establishing a recidivism rate for the population will help in determining other county’s recidivism rate moving forward. The project will build upon the previous SJS projects to scale the Cumberland County pilot and the ARC software to Pennsylvania’s other counties. The research goal is two-pronged: 1) establish a statewide recidivism rate for a cohort of the county probation/parole population, and 2) establish individual county recidivism rates for the same population.


Date Created: September 16, 2020