Current and Recently Concluded Research

Ongoing Research and Data Projects:

The SAC is leading research and analysis on the following research projects:

  • Disproportionate Minority Contact Identification and Assessment - Disproportionate minority contact refers to the over- or under-representation of minority youth within the juvenile justice system as compared to White youth from the point of arrest or referral through detention or secure confinement. The Juvenile Justice State Advisory Group (SAG), as appointed by the Governor, provides guidance to the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC), by supporting the state’s compliance with the JJDPA, which includes leading the consistent review of and strategic response to DMC in the state’s juvenile justice system. In 2016, the SAG commissioned Georgia Statistical Analysis Center to conduct a new DMC identification study and assessment. The identification study (report forthcoming) is designed to answer the following research questions:

    - Which Georgia counties have the highest rates of DMC?
    - At what stages in the juvenile justice case process are the highest DMC rates observed?
    - What are the differences, if any, in DMC across races and ethnicities?

    Phase II of this research includes a macro-level examination of county-specific factors that may be associated with disproportionate minority contact at referral, diversion, and detention.  Factors the SAC will assess may include: allocation of law enforcement resources, disproportionate arrest for violent crime, percent of minority youth in a county living in poverty or on free/reduced lunch, county racial demographics, minority youth graduation rates, whether schools within the county report using corporal punishment, percent of family violence incidents within a county where a child was present or the victim, out-of-school suspensions per capita, and disproportionate arrest of minority youth for drug-related offenses. Additionally, the SAC will conduct a qualitative analysis including interviews with key stakeholders to identify drivers of disproportionate contact and understand decision-making at referral, diversion, and detention. Our hope with the county-level causal analysis and the qualitative assessment is that we will be able to more specifically identify what is driving DMC and what interventions might be useful at curbing the disparities.
     
  • Development and Implementation of a Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence Platform for CJCC-collected Data - Over the past 3 federal funding years, the Georgia SAC has received Bureau of Justice Statistics’ State Justice Statistics funds to plan for and develop a data repository for all internal data collections and facilitate data sharing with partner agencies. SAC Operations Analysts are working on building the data warehouse to store all data collections related to Victims Services Statistical Reports. Criminal Justice Services Statistical Report, Drug Task Force Report, Accountability Court Reports, and Victims Compensation data. This warehouse will be connected to PowerBI, Microsoft’s business intelligence and dashboarding tool, to provide both internal and external stakeholders with timely data about CJCC’s work.
     
  • SMART Policing Initiative - In FFY 2016 the SAC applied for and received a SMART Policing Grant in partnership with Grady Memorial Hospital and Atlanta Police Department to develop a public health approach to gun violence in Atlanta. This task force-led initiative is a novel research to practice partnership between CJCC, Applied Research Services, Atlanta Police Department, and Grady Memorial Hospital. The task force is developing a hospital-based violence intervention program that screen victims of gun violence who may be susceptible to being hospitalized for firearm injuries again and provide them with services to prevent future involvement in gun violence. In Atlanta communities with high rates of gun violence, APD will deploy Community-Oriented Policing (COPs) officers to respond in the immediate aftermath of a shooting to work with community members and those involved in the incident to restore order and cool tempers. Data sharing between Grady Memorial Hospital and APD will allow COPs officers to target community-building efforts and their rapid response unit. In-depth analysis gunshot wound patient histories will provide a triage profile for social workers at Grady to intervene with those most at risk for repeat injury. The SAC’s Research and Evaluation Program Director guides the task force’s work and is working with both Grady and APD to develop business process models and document program creation that may allow other jurisdictions to replicate our efforts. Applied Research Services is evaluating the effect that the program will have on repeat firearm hospitalization, retaliatory gun violence in affect communities, and program participant success. ARS will also develop the social work risk assessment tool that will guide Grady’s intervention. 

Recently Concluded Research Reports:

  • Pathways to Desistance: A Comprehensive Analysis of Juvenile to Adult Criminal Careers - The Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) Statistical Analysis Center (SAC), in partnership with Applied Research Services, Inc. (ARS), is pleased to announce it has completed a three-year analysis of juvenile to adult criminal careers. The analysis, Pathways to Desistance: A Comprehensive Analysis of Juvenile to Adult Criminal Careers, was funded by a 2014 State Justice Statistics Program Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). The study describes the likelihood and extent to which juvenile offenders persist in illegal behavior and penetrate into Georgia’s adult criminal justice system. 
  • State Drug Enforcement Strategy Needs Assessment - CJCC concluded a needs assessment project to assess the nature of drug use and crime, and its effect on the criminal justice system. The SAC employed surveys, interviews, and secondary data analysis to determine drug of choice in the state, needs for substance abuse treatment and criminal justice response to drug crime, as well as next steps for continued data analysis and monitoring.
  • Statewide Accountability Court Funding Use and Needs Survey - The Georgia Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) is pleased to release the final report of the 2013 Statewide Accountability Court Funding Use and Needs Survey. In June 2013, SAC launched a project to survey and interview judges and court coordinators on behalf of the Accountability Court Funding Committee. The goal was to determine current needs for services and funding in Georgia's state-funded accountability courts. Data analysis found that courts are operating at 85% capacity-in part due to staff and treatment shortages. Offenders attending accountability courts face significant barriers, which may preclude some eligible participants from receiving the assistance they need. Such barriers include a lack of readily accessible transportation, housing, and employment. 

As a unit within the state administering agency, the SAC manages research contracts with diverse private and university partners using CJCC federal formula money for the following projects:

With Applied Research Services:  

  • Impact Evaluation of CJCC-Funded Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Forces - At the end of 2014, Applied Research Services completed a report about the impact that multi-jurisdictional drug task forces have had on drug crime in Georgia. Findings of note include:

    • Drug task force member agencies felt their task forces had high levels of collaboration, their commanders were particularly effective, and they felt their work was meaningfully affecting drug crime;

    • When comparing counties with and without taskforces, those with drug taskforces had higher arrest rates for young, violent, chronic offenders with long drug distribution histories;

    • Survey respondents and interviewees stated their greatest concern was funding and sustainability;

    • The presence of a drug task force in counties did not seem to have an effect on total violent or property arrest rates.