Our Projects

 

Current Projects

Death in Custody Reporting Act (DCRA) Training and Technical Assistance Center

The DCRA TTA Center aims to increase state-level compliance with DCRA reporting requirements, improve the understanding of why deaths in custody occur, and develop solutions to prevent avoidable deaths. 

The DCRA TTA Center has three components that further information sharing and foster peer-to-peer learning. 

  • First, the DCRA collection within JIRN’s Justice Research Academy will provide online meeting capabilities, on-demand learning modules, virtual training support, and a comprehensive course catalog to enhance the availability of learning opportunities for SAAs and DCRA reporters. 

 

  • Second, the online discussion boards serve as a place where interested parties can build a sense of community online and asynchronously exchange information regarding DCRA planning, implementation, and reporting. 

  • Third, the DCRA TTA Center can provide onsite and virtual TTA to SAAs and other DCRA reporters. Center staff or our team of subject matter experts (SMEs) will provide the requested assistance. 

For more information visit the project website at www.jirn.org/DCRA-TTA, or contact us at dcra@jirn.org.

 


This project is funded through a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this website (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).

Center for Victim Research (CVR)

JIRN, in conjunction with the Urban Institute (Urban) and the National Center for Victims of Crime, and with funding from OVC, is carrying out a project designed to provide information on victim-related research, evaluation, and evidence-based practices to victim services providers across the country. This project proposal has five distinct and complementary goals: (1) building and institutionalizing capacity through an infusion of technology, training and innovation to ensure that the field is equipped to meet the demands of the 21st century; (2) promoting the collection and use of data collected; (3) increasing the volume of relevant data and research-based evidence for determining the impact of a policy, program, or practice; (4) supporting the production and dissemination of translated research; and (5) enhancing the ability of, and opportunities for, researchers and practitioners to work together.

For more information, visit the project website at wwww.victimresearch.org, or contact Susan Howley at showley@jirn.org.

 


This website is funded through a grant from the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this website (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).

Incident-Based Reporting Resource Center

JIRN is providing information to state and local researchers and analysts to facilitate their use of incident-based reporting (IBR) data, either from state systems or from the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). JIRN’s Incident-Based Reporting Resource Center, funded by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, provides information and tools to facilitate the use and understanding of IBR data. The site includes information, reports, and examples for analyzing IBR and NIBRS data using SPSS, SAS, and ACCESS.

For more information, visit the project website at http://www.incidentbased.org, or contact Lily Hanrath at lhanrath@jirn.org.

National Census of Victim Service Providers

The 2023 National Census of Victim Service Providers is a U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics project being carried out through a cooperative agreement with the Justice Information Resource Network. This data collection was previously administered in 2017. The NCVSP is critical to understanding the current landscape of victim services across the country and providing national data on victim service provision and characteristics of victim service providers. By accurately gathering information on all provider organizations, we can identify gaps in services and funding needs for programs responding to the needs of crime victims and survivors in communities nationwide.

For more information, visit the project website at https://victimresearch.org/ncvsp-2023/, or contact Susan Howley at showley@jirn.org.

 


This project is funded through a grant from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this website (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).

Smart Suite Training and Technical Assistance

The goal of this project is to support the development, enhancement, and translation of research and knowledge of research-practitioner partnerships in each of the Smart Suite programs.

The Objectives are: establishing or expanding evidence-based practices in all of the Smart Suite programs; collecting and analyzing criminal justice and public safety data; using data to identify criminal justice- and public safety-related problems; assessing implementation fidelity; measuring program outcomes; using data to determine program effectiveness; evidence translation and how to communicate findings to diverse audiences; making recommendations for program improvement and sustainability; developing “real-time” products and resources for strategic decision-making; tracking and supporting dissemination of research and knowledge in the Smart Suite Program; and communicating with a wide variety of audiences.

For more information, visit the project webpage at www.jirn.org/smart-suite-academy/, or contact Jeffrey Sedgwick at jsedgwick@jirn.org.

 


This project is funded through a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this website (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).

State Justice Statistics Program for Statistical Analysis Centers: Training and Technical Assistance Program

BJS has long supported the establishment and operation of Statistical Analysis Centers (SACs) in the states and territories to collect, analyze, and report statistics on crime and justice to Federal, state, and local levels of government, and to share state-level information nationally. The information produced by SACs and their involvement in criminal justice projects has been and will continue to be critical to local, state, and Federal criminal justice agencies and community organizations as they develop programs and policies related to crime, illegal drugs, victim services, and the administration of justice.

The State Justice Statistics Program (SJS) is designed to maintain and enhance each state’s capacity to address criminal justice issues through the collection and analysis of data. The SJS Program provides limited funds to each state to coordinate statistical activities within the state, conduct research as needed to estimate impacts of legislative and policy changes, and serve a liaison role in assisting BJS to gather data from respondent agencies within their states.

Statistical Analysis Centers (SACs) are units or agencies at the State government level that use operational, management, and research information from all components of the criminal justice system to conduct objective analyses of statewide and systemwide policy issues. SACs vary in their placement within the State government structures. Some are within a criminal justice or general State planning or coordinating agency; some are part of a governor’s advisory staff; and others are located in a line agency such as the State police, attorney general’s office, or department of corrections. There are several housed in universities and one SAC is a registered non-profit public benefit corporation. Currently, the majority of SACs (68%) are housed within their State Administering Agency (SAA), the location of SAAs varies from state to state. There are currently SACs in 51 states and territories.

The SACs perform various activities, including collecting, analyzing, and distributing criminal justice data, conducting policy-relevant research, and designing and implementing automated information systems. SACs play an important role in developing criminal and juvenile justice policy at the state and local levels. Their research provides the evidence that policymakers use to guide their decision-making. By furthering the use of evidence-based practices in their states, SACs promote the effective and efficient administration of criminal and juvenile justice. Contact information for all the SACs is available on the JIRN website.

Each State Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) is led by a SAC Director who manages the day-to-day operations of the SAC. The SAC Director has extensive knowledge of research methodology and statistical analysis techniques, as well as the ability to design and conduct research studies, and produce and present findings in written and oral presentations. Additionally, the SAC Director is familiar with the factors, issues, and processes involved in crime and the criminal justice system. The SAC Director is able to communicate effectively and maintain sound working relationships with all levels of staff, employees from other agencies, and public officials. A degree, with major studies in mathematics/statistics, computer science, criminology or a related social sciences field with emphasis on research methodology, from an accredited college or university is required.

The primary focus of the State Justice Statistics Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) Program for the Statistical Analysis Centers (SACs) is to strengthen and enhance SACs’ core capacity to collect, analyze and publish statistical data. Located in 49 states as well as the District of Columbia and two territories, the SACs play a critical role in analyzing criminal justice data to assist in developing sound public policies and determining their impact. With priorities dictated by the needs of the state, SACs use operational, management, and research information from all components of the justice system to analyze justice policies and issues, evaluate criminal justice programs, and provide research and statistical analysis support to practitioners, policymakers, and the public. The goals of JIRN’s efforts under this program are to enhance the data collection, statistical analysis, applied research, and information dissemination capabilities of the SACs.

For more information, contact Susan Smith Howley at showley@jirn.org.

 


This project is funded through a grant from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this website (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).

Selected Past Projects

Bridging the Gap in Victim-Related Research to Practice

JIRN, in partnership with the National Center for Victims of Crime and the Urban Institute, and with funding from the Office for Victims of Crime, carried out a project to identify causes of, and ways to close, the gap in victim-related research-to-practice. Project activities included: conducting a comprehensive literature review of prior efforts to bridge the research-to-practice gap in victim-related research to practice; surveying a broad array of researchers and practitioners to obtain their assessments of the barriers to bridging the gap and ways to overcome these barriers; conducting a series of case studies on current initiatives designed to address the research-to-practice gap in crime victim services or related fields; and developing a series of recommendations to OVC for ways to bridge the victim-related research to practice gap.

For more information about this project, please contact Shaun Gann at sgann@jirn.org.

Building Capacity for Performance Measurement and Evaluation (BCPME)

The purpose of the BCPME project is to improve the capacity of the Washington D.C. Justice Grants Administration and Victim Services (OJGAVS) sub-grantees to collect high-quality program data through a series of collaborative workshops conducted by JIRN. Workshop topics include overviews of evidence-based practices, performance measurement, and process evaluation. Project activities emphasize a collaborative learning environment so that grantees can build and share knowledge to maximize their organizational capacity and be more effective, efficient, and sustainable. JIRN also provides direct technical assistance to sub-grantees in the areas of data collection and reporting. Future analysis of performance measurement data will inform OJGAVS’ long-term strategy of supporting best practices for each of its funding priorities.

For more information about this project, please contact Shaun Gann at sgann@jirn.org.

Project Documents

The goal of BCPME is to build a collaborative learning environment, through the lens of data and performance measurement, so that grantees can build and share knowledge to maximize their organizational capacity to be more effective, efficient, and sustainable. See Chin, J. (2006) for more about this type of collaborative learning effort.

Estimating the Financial Costs of Crime Victimization

Despite reductions in U.S. crime rates in recent decades, crime victimization continues to be a pressing problem with enormous societal costs. Currently available national estimates are in the hundreds of billions of dollars each year equivalent to between two percent and six percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. This project, conducted by the Justice Information Resource Network  (JIRN) in partnership with the Urban Institute (Urban) and the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC), is an assessment of the field of cost of victimization research. The product is a menu of recommendations for future research studies and practitioner tools to advance the field. One objective of the project was to keep the focus squarely on the victims, and consider what information is most needed by those who serve them. Relatedly, another objective was to recognize that even if the proximate victim is a business, the government, or non-profit organization, individuals still suffer.

Given the victim-centered focus, the project team conducted several primary data collections, including focus groups and surveys, to obtain input from victims and various practitioner groups about their experiences and needs. The project team also re-framed the taxonomy of victimization costs pioneered and revised by Cohen over the years (Cohen, 2005, e.g.) from the perspective of various practitioner users based on who covers different costs and added factors that may change cost estimates. The project team also conducted a literature review that consists of two major sections: how costs of victimization are estimated, and estimation methods and data sources concerning the incidence, prevalence, and concentration of victimization.

The data collection activities and literature review, combined with extensive input from an advisory board of experts throughout the project, inform the menu of recommendations proposed in Volume III. These focus on topical areas where more information is needed; methodological recommendations to improve estimates; and practitioner resources and tools to help disseminate research developments, assist in calculating local estimates, and better equip practitioners to communicate and use victimization cost estimates effectively in the field.

For more information about this project, please contact Shaun Gann at sgann@jirn.org.

Project Documents

Exexutive Summary. (December 2018)

Final Report. (December 2018)

 

Evaluation of Domestic Violence Housing Programs in DC

JIRN conducted an assessment of housing programs for domestic violence and crime victims in Washington DC. The housing programs are funded by the District of Columbia’s Office of Victim Services. The goals of the project were twofold. First, using both quantitative and qualitative research methods, JIRN explored common performance measures, process standards, and goals for each of the four housing programs. The second goal was to utilize the information gathered through the evaluation to gain a better understanding of the extent to which these housing programs fit together to provide a continuum of housing services to victims of crime in the District of Columbia.

For more information about this project, please contact Shaun Gann at sgann@jirn.org.

Factors Related to Parole Violations and Revocations

JIRN received funding from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) to coordinate a multi-state assessment of parole revocations and violations. The goal of the project was to provide policymakers in selected states with specific information about the reasons for offender violations and recommendations for reducing the number of violators returned to incarceration. After issuing a solicitation to state Statistical Analysis Centers (SACs) and reviewing their proposals, BJS and JIRN awarded funds to five states (Maine*, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming) to gather data and information on parole practices in their states. The SACs were asked to collect data on activity that occurred for up to 24 months after the offender was placed on parole, or as of December 31, 2008 (whichever was later). In addition, the SACs were asked to review and analyze information regarding the policies, procedures, and practices related to parole revocation and sanctioning technical violators in their states. Using information collected from the qualitative and quantitative analyses, the SACs were also asked to produce a report describing the factors related to violations and revocations of parolees.

* While Maine abolished parole in 1976, probation often acts as de facto parole. Therefore, Maine gathered data on probation practices for this project.

For more information about this project, please contact Shaun Gann at sgann@jirn.org..

Project Documents

An Analysis of Probation Violations and Revocations in Maine Probation Entrants in 2005-2006. (December 2010)

Parole Revocation in New Mexico. (December 2010)

Oregon Parole/Post-Prison Revocation Study. (December 2010)

Factors Related to Parole Violations and Revocations: Analysis of the Utah Parole System and Outcomes. (December 2010)

Study of Wyoming Parole Revocations 2005-2009: Produced for the Bureau of Justice Statistics and Justice Research and Statistics Association Multi-State Study. (December 2010)

Improving State Criminal History Records Through Analysis

From 2005-2010, JIRN worked with the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) on a project designed to improve state criminal history records. The project allowed State Statistical Analysis Centers (SACs) to develop the capacity to obtain and analyze their states’ criminal history records or, in the case of SACs that already had this capacity, to participate in coordinated studies of key topics of interest to state justice decision-makers. SACs provided feedback to their state criminal history repositories on errors in the data discovered as the analyses were undertaken. This ongoing process of analysis and correction of data in the files helped to improve the overall quality of the data in the criminal history records.

The first project involved SACs in nine states (Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah) studying sex offender recidivism using the criminal history records data. The second project involved six SACs (Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, South Carolina, and Utah) using criminal history records to compile profiles of drug offenders in their states. The third project involved five SACs (Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, and New York) using criminal history records to describe the processing of felony cases in their states.

For more information about this project, please contact Shaun Gann at sgann@jirn.org.

Project Documents

Improving State Criminal History Records:Recidivism of Sex Offenders Released in 2001

Indicators of Sex Trafficking in Online Escort Ads

Law enforcement and prosecutors have long used online escort advertisements to identify sex trafficking victims and investigate cases. Investigators have used and shared several indicators with each other in practice over the years, but these indicators have not been empirically tested for predictive power to support investigative decisions or the use of ads as evidence in court. This study has two objectives: examine whether there are indicators that can differentiate escort ads related to sex trafficking from ads for consensual, non-trafficking sex work and if so, determine which indicators are most likely to predict whether the ad represents a trafficking case. The goal is to create guidance investigators can use to increase precision in victim identification and help focus limited investigational resources on ads more likely to be associated with trafficking.

More Information

Law Enforcement-Based Direct Victim Services & Technical Assistance Program

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), with funding from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), partnered with the Justice Information Resource Network (JIRN) and the Center for Victim Research to carry out several research activities under the Law Enforcement-Based Direct Victim Services & Technical Assistance Program (LEV TTA). Through the LEV program, IACP supports agencies in either establishing brand new victim services programs in law enforcement agencies or enhancing existing programs. There is a dearth of research on law enforcement-based victim services, however, there is a lot of interest in this area. The research component to the LEV TTA program will help inform IACP’s work and make sure agencies are supported with data and research assistance. JIRN is very grateful to be engaged in several activities under the LEV TTA program with IACP including administering the LEV Mapping Survey, facilitating mini-grant research and evaluation projects of partnerships between LEV Grantees and research partners, and conducting six case studies of variously situated LEV Grantees.

More Information

Measuring Success in the Criminal Justice System’s Response to Domestic/Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, And Stalking : A Pilot Project

In 2020, the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) funded the Violence Against Women Act Measuring Effectiveness Initiative (VAWA MEI), which is part of the Catherine E. Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy at the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service, and the Justice Information Resource Network (JIRN), to develop and pilot test a set of indicators for gauging success in the criminal justice system’s response to the VAWA crimes.

Specifically, the purpose of this project was to develop a research-based conceptual framework that logically connects the interventions being undertaken by OVW’s funded grantees to the longer-term outcomes experienced by victims. At OVW’s direction, the project focused specifically on law enforcement’s response to VAWA crimes. In addition, the project identified key outcomes measures that can be collected and reported in a reliable manner to demonstrate the effectiveness of VAWA-funded
programs. These recommended measures were rooted in research, generated from existing data when possible, and field-tested by a volunteer pool of grantees. This brief presents both the narrative and visual depiction of the finalized conceptual model.

More Information

Prosecuting Trafficking in Persons Cases: An Analysis of Local Strategies and Approaches

JIRN, in partnership with the National District Attorneys Association and with funding from NIJ, is conducting a study to identify promising state and local responses to TIP in general, and assess the effectiveness of promising strategies, approaches, and tools being used to investigate and prosecute TIP cases. Phase I of the proposed study will involve surveying district attorneys across the country regarding their use of promising practices for TIP cases. The survey will provide information regarding the existence and use of various state statutes addressing TIP; data on TIP cases investigated and prosecuted; and initiatives undertaken to address TIP. Phase II will feature in-depth analysis of TIP cases in four jurisdictions.

For more information about this project, please contact Shaun Gann at sgann@jirn.org.

Seeking Alignment between Evidence-Based Practices and Jail-Based Reentry Services in the District of Columbia

JIRN, in conjunction with the Moss Group and funded by the DC Criminal Justice Coordinator Counsel (CJCC), is conducting a quantitative and qualitative analysis of custodial populations in DC DOC facilities for the purpose of ensuring that those facilities are maximizing the potential for utilization for effective reentry practices and opportunities to support returning citizens, ultimately leading to reductions in recidivism. The proposed project will include an assessment of the custodial population as well as focus groups with stakeholders, inmates and families of inmates will provide in-depth information on stakeholders’ perceptions and experiences of programs and services in DC.

For more information about this project, please contact Shaun Gann at sgann@jirn.org.

Smart Pretrial Demonstration Initiative

JIRN is working with the Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI) to provide research services for the BJA-funded Smart Pretrial Demonstration Initiative (SPDI). The SPDI supports local agencies in implementing risk assessment, supervision, and diversion strategies with their pretrial populations to enhance public safety and decrease costs. JIRN will be helping the three pilot sites (the state of Delaware; Denver City and County; and Yakima County, WA) develop indicators to assess their performance and will be assessing the overall performance of the initiative.

For more information about this project, please contact Shaun Gann at sgann@jirn.org.

Understanding, Promoting, and Sustaining the Use of Research and Evidence-Based Practices by State Administering Agencies

JIRN, in partnership with the National Criminal Justice Association and with funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, carried out a project to provide assistance to the State Administering Agencies (SAA) in understanding and implementing evidence-based practices in their states. JIRN surveyed the SAA directors regarding EBPs in their states, and also conducted a literature review. The interviews captured information regarding the varying definitions of evidence-based practices that are employed by the SAAs, research and evaluation resources available to the SAAs and their sub-grantees, and the ways these agencies structure priorities and program decisions based on the needs of their respective states. In addition, respondents provided feedback about factors that facilitate or constrain their involvement in evidence-based practices.

As a result of this effort, JIRN, NCJA, and BJA partnered to present an Executive Session on Evidence-Based Policy and Practice. The session, held on January 8 and 9, 2013, brought together over 100 executive staff of state agencies designated by Governors to manage federal criminal justice assistance, directors of the states’ Statistical Analysis Centers (SAC), and federal officials from the Office of Justice Programs and BJA.

JIRN, in partnership with the National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA) and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), produced a series of “toolkits” on promoting the use of evidence-based practices in State Administering Agencies (SAAs). These toolkits include a briefing paper, an executive summary, and a slideshow. The slideshows can be tailored by SAAs to highlight their own efforts in promoting evidence-based practices in their state. An online class, consisting of the information provided in the toolkits as well as supplemental information, was also developed.

For more information about this project, please contact Shaun Gann at sgann@jirn.org.

Project Documents

Toolkit 1: An Introduction to Evidence-Based Practices

Toolkit 1: An Introduction to Evidence-Based Practices – Executive Summary

Toolkit 2: Implementing Evidence-Based Practices

Toolkit 2: Implementing Evidence-Based Practices – Executive Summary

Toolkit 3: Sustaining Evidence-Based Practices

Toolkit 3: Sustaining Evidence-Based Practices – Executive Summary

Victim Legal Network for the District of Columbia (VLNDC)

JIRN was the research partner for a project funded by the Office of Justice Program’s Office for Victims of Crime to develop a Victim Legal Network for the District of Columbia (VLNDC). JIRN worked with the District’s Office of Victim Services (OVS) and the Network for Victim Recovery (NVRDC). The goal of the project was to expand the capacity of District service providers to provide legal education and services on an array of legal issues for victims of any type of crime. JIRN conducted a needs assessment of legal services and victim legal needs in DC, and produced a literature review on assessment of legal services.

For more information about this project, please contact Shaun Gann at sgann@jirn.org.

Prosecuting Trafficking in Persons Cases: An Analysis of Local Strategies and Approaches

The field of crime victim legal services has been identified as a priority area of victim services by OVC. However, the field of victim legal services lacks a clear, unified conceptual framework and theory of change defining what constitutes “success” in delivering these services. Developing these core resources provides essential grounding for evaluation across all forms of victim legal services.

The first phase, conducting a formative evaluation and evaluability assessment, has been completed. The partners are currently planning the second and third phases, process and outcome evaluations.

This project, led by the Justice Information Resource Network, was a collaborative partnership with the leading practitioner organization the National Crime Victim Law Institute, subject matter experts across multiple areas of victim legal services, and three local victims’ rights legal clinics: Arizona Voice for Crime Victims, the Oregon Crime Victims Law Center, and the Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center.

 

For more information about this project, please contact Shaun Gann at sgann@jirn.org.