Our mission is to continuously address, improve, sustain and enhance public safety in the State of Arizona through the coordination, cohesiveness and effectiveness of the Criminal Justice System.
Statistical Analysis Center Current Projects
Arizona Youth Survey (AYS)
The Arizona Youth Survey (AYS), mandated by A.R.S. §41-2416, is a biennial survey of youth in all 15 counties in Arizona. The survey asks youth about their experiences with topics such as substance use, school safety, bullying, gang activity, and other problematic behaviors, as well as the risk and protective factors that influence the prevalence of these behaviors. The AYS is grounded in empirically driven and research-based theories of youth development and provides a wealth of information that is used to improve the circumstances in which all Arizona youth live and learn. For years, the AYS has been utilized by a number of coalitions, non-profit agencies, government agencies, Regional Behavioral Health Authorities (RBHA), local school districts, and state universities in order to:
- Identify the nature and extent of various problem behaviors;
- Assess the performance of prevention and intervention efforts;
- Guide program and policy decisions that affect prevention and intervention efforts;
- Design and implement a new program and/or policy; and
- Apply for competitive funding opportunities to solve a variety of problem behaviors.
SAC staff have recently completed the 2018 administration of the Arizona Youth Survey. During 2018, several new questions were added to the survey instrument including questions regarding marijuana concentrates, poly drug use, and alcohol and prescription pain relievers. Results from this administration, as well as prior administrations, are available on the Community Data Portal (CDP) and the AYS webpage.
Community Data Portal Website
SAC staff maintains the Community Data Portal (CDP) website. The CDP provides access to drug, crime, and criminal justice-related data for policymakers and practitioners through the use of a web-based data dissemination tool. The Evidence-Based Practices in Criminal Justice resource page is also available to assist in understanding more about evidence-based practices and to provide links to sites that are currently evaluating the effectiveness of programs from across the country. The Community Data Portal can be accessed: here.
Annual Sexual Assault Report
In accordance with Arizona Revised Statute §41-2406, SAC staff publishes an annual report that examines the number of sexual assault-related arrests and subsequent case findings within Arizona. The report includes the following statistics regarding sexual assault-related offenses: 1) total incidents reported to law enforcement, 2) total arrests, 3) total arrests leading to charges filed, 4) total arrests leading to convictions, and 5) highest level of sentencing per conviction. The SAC works closely with the Arizona Department of Public Safety to obtain an annual extract of arrest and subsequent case disposition information to compile the report. The SAC is currently looking into ways to resolve missing data issues with more real-time information provided by the Arizona Administrative Office of the Courts.
Arizona Gang Threat Assessment
ACJC conducts an annual survey of law enforcement agencies across Arizona on the topic of gangs and gang activity in their jurisdictions. This survey, based on the National Gang Threat Assessment, was designed to seek information from local law enforcement about the gangs in their jurisdictions and their level of activity. The report includes results from past administrations when available, providing agencies with trend data that can be used for strategic planning and resource distribution. These data are essential for understanding the scope of the gang problem in Arizona, as well as areas in need of focused efforts. The SAC analyzes all survey data, compiling results in an extensive report including both aggregate and county-specific results to aid law enforcement agencies in understanding the extent of the gang presence at multiple levels, and potentially foster information-sharing with other agencies. Additionally, by reporting information at the state and county levels, multi-jurisdictional gang task forces can plan more comprehensive, joint efforts that tackle suppression and intervention efforts.
Fill the Gap (FTG) Report
In the 1990s, Arizona’s growing population, in combination with increased funding for law enforcement, resulted in a larger volume of cases processed through the court system. To manage the upsurge of criminal cases, Senate Bill 1013 was enacted to provide adequate resources for Arizona’s case disposition process. Funds generated by Senate Bill 1013, also known as the Fill the Gap (FTG) legislation, were specifically introduced to resolve the “gap” between the established timeframe standards for criminal case processing and the actual timeframes experienced due to the backlog of criminal cases.
On an annual basis, SAC staff produces the Fill the Gap (FTG) report to comply with A.R.S. §41-2409. This report describes State FTG fund expenditures for county attorneys and indigent defense agencies across all 15 counties in Arizona, and analyzes improvements in criminal case processing.
Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Collaboration with the Justice Research & Statistics Association (JRSA)
The SAC was awarded funding in 2017 from the JRSA to complete a project for the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). This project involves a collaboration with the Crime Victim Services program at ACJC and the State Agency Coordination Team (SACT) to update the Crime Victim Service Funding Overview report with current funding allocations, expand the data collected to include a breakdown of both victim compensation and victim assistance funding, create an ancillary report that will provide the SACT with an understanding of what programs are being funded across the state of Arizona, and overlay a map of victim service programs with data from DPS on calls for service for related offenses to determine if there are gaps in service. A version of the map that includes only the locations of victim service providers will be made available on the ACJC website for public access.
Coconino County Probation Education Program (COPE) Evaluation
Coconino County is the largest geographic region in Arizona, covering 18,661 square miles, and serving a population of probationers dispersed throughout this expansive region. Due to the challenges faced by probationers who are often required to travel several hours for mandatory meetings and services, Coconino County Adult Probation created the Coconino Online Probation Education Program (COPE), which is among the first in the country to incorporate remote meeting technology, mentoring services, and educational modules into medium and high-risk probation terms. As the sole research partner and evaluator for this program, the SAC will continue to not only monitor implementation progress, but will assess the efficacy of the program in terms of its impact on recidivism and offender risk levels. This project has the potential to influence the development of similar programs in rural jurisdictions across the country, serving as one of the first of its kind to tackle the challenges characterized by a jurisdiction of this type.
State Justice Statistics Grant, 2017:
An Assessment of Incident-Based Reporting in Arizona - With a full transition to the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) set to occur by January 1, 2021, it is imperative that law enforcement agencies across the country begin or continue to prepare for the new reporting system, and the impact it will have on the collection, reporting, and analyses of crime data. According to the JRSA Incident Based Reporting Resource Center, only four out of roughly 120 law enforcement agencies in Arizona have transitioned to an incident-based reporting (IBR) system. In line with the national strategic plan to increase the number of law enforcement agencies using NIBRS and generate statistically robust estimates of crime, the SAC will assess NIBRS compliance across the four existing agencies and work to improve participation in NIBRS statewide.
Evaluating Arizona's Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Programs: Aligning Current Practices with Promising Practices - The Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) program was authorized under the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 and has been funding residential substance abuse treatment services since FY 1996. The ACJC Drug, Gang, and Violent Crime Control (DGVCC) program is responsible for managing the RSAT program. Currently, performance measures are limited to those required by the BJA and include basic information on program characteristics, staffing, risk assessment and planning, the number of participants in a program receiving services, the services provided, and program completion. The SAC is conducting an evaluation of the four RSAT programs funded by DGVCC in order to assess how well they currently align with the “Promising Practices Guidelines for Residential Substance Abuse Treatment” report.
State Justice Statistics Grant, 2016:
Law Enforcement Curriculum Project - Comprehensive, research-based approaches to criminal justice issues are vital to the efficacy of today’s law enforcement agencies. Arizona is geographically diverse, comprised of cities and towns of varying populations. Exposure to data and research can potentially lead to many beneficial outcomes, ranging from comprehensive, data-informed decision making, to stronger policy proposals, program design and grant applications. The presence and use of data and research can not only illustrate the magnitude and breadth of criminal justice issues, but allow organizations to tailor their resources accordingly. The curriculum will consist of an introductory module, Introduction to Data, comprised of identifying reputable data sources, interpreting data from reports, data files, and academic publications, as well as an overview of descriptive statistics and grant writing. This data curriculum will be offered in both web and in-person formats to accommodate various schedules and work assignments, taking into account the geographic distribution of our law enforcement agencies across the state. Said formats will allow for officers to access the web module on a time/date of their choosing, or attend an in-person session if convenient. Future modules will be designed to reflect findings from a pilot study, as well as specific, high-priority topics as identified by curriculum participants.
Expected vs. Actual Completeness of Criminal History Records Project - For more than ten years, the SAC has been monitoring criminal history record completeness (i.e., an arrest record with disposition information attached) in the Arizona Computerized Criminal History (ACCH) repository. Since 100% record completeness is not a realistic nor sustainable standard, stakeholders would benefit from an additional index that will identify the threshold of maximum efficiency in records processing within their specific jurisdiction. The difference between the actual completeness index and the expected completeness index will indicate the extent of the gap in criminal history record completeness. The SAC is underway with collecting data from counties and local jurisdictions to build and test a model for the actual (CA) and expected (CE) completeness indices. The final report will outline how the SAC indices will translate to other states and jurisdictions with minimal effort.
State Justice Statistics Grant, 2015:
Victim’s Compensation Performance Measures Project - Being victimized is among the most traumatic and devastating experiences that one can endure. The Victim’s Compensation Program at the ACJC provides financial assistance to victims of crime in hopes of providing some relief to those who have incurred expenses as a result of crime-related costs. With the extensive range of possible crime and victimization types, program coordinators are tasked with sorting requests into specific categories that appear somewhat narrow and non-descriptive. In an effort to expound upon these categories and develop a more seamless reporting process, the SAC has developed a guidebook for program coordinators that includes possible crimes (listed by ARS code) and their corresponding categories, as well as an extensive reference section with ARS classifications and flowcharts. It is anticipated that these modifications, coupled with key informant interviews and survey feedback, will lead to the continued refinement and reduced ambiguity of this instrument.
Process, Impact and Outcome Evaluation of Arizona’s Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Forces Using Criminal History Records - This project was designed to allow the Arizona SAC to support the work of ACJC’s Drug, Gang and Violent Crime Control program (DGVCC) by developing an extensive evaluation of the Arizona drug task forces funded by the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission. The DGVCC program has been in operation since 1988 and is funded through federal awards (i.e., the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program – Byrne JAG), state drug offense fines (i.e., the Drug Enforcement Account - DEA) and local matching funds when required. This evaluation employs a mixed methods design to examine how process measures involving composition, collaboration, communication and investigative procedures of Arizona’s drug task forces relate to impact measures involving drug seizures, forfeitures and arrests. In an effort to expand the model and the evaluation research on drug enforcement activities, several new additions will be included in the Arizona model to allow for a more comprehensive examination of various public safety outcomes.
Arizona Primary Care Area Community-Level Data Project - The SAC is using federal funding through the State Justice Statistics (SJS) grant to support the transition of Arizona Youth Survey data from the coalition level to a new community level, known as a Primary Care Area (PCA). Established by the Arizona Department of Health Services, PCAs are constructed based on the primary location where residents within the specified area receive health care. Arizona Youth Survey respondent data is available at the zip code level, and SAC staff is currently converting the zip codes into PCA areas. Upon completion of the data collection, all AYS coalition-level data will be converted to PCA-level data on the Community Data Portal website. Once the PCA-level data is made available, users will be able to link Arizona Youth Survey data with public health data provided by the Arizona Department of Health Services.