Tagged: statistics

National Archive of Criminal Justice Data

The National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD) is the source for crime and justice data. The archive’s mission is

to facilitate research in criminal justice and criminology, through the preservation, enhancement, and sharing of computerized data resources; through the production of original research based on archived data; and through specialized training workshops in quantitative analysis of crime and justice data.

Users can download available data, analyze data online and also deposit data via a secure uploading process. Available data can be searched or browsed. The browseable categories include: attitude surveys, community studies, computer program and instructional packages, corrections, court case processing, courts, criminal justice system, crime and delinquency, drugs, alcohol and crime, homicide studies, official statistics, police, and victimization.

Whether searching or browsing the collection of data, the results page includes additional filters to narrow down along with selected list of publications relevant to the category being researched.

Hall of Justice: Find Criminal Justice Statistics in One Convenient Place

HallOfJusticeWe all were in the situation when we are looking for criminal justice related statistics without knowing where to look or where to even begin. No more. Hall of Justice, a project of the Sunlight Foundations, is trying to change that. Although not comprehensive, it contains nearly 10,000 datasets and research documents from all 50 jurisdictions, DC, US territories, and federal government. Its newly launched website offers searchable inventory of publicly available criminal justice statistics and documents in one convenient place, thereby improving transparency.

The project explains its methodology in how and which datasets are included. You can learn more about the Sunlight Foundation criminal justice work here and the spreadsheet of datasets is available here.

Users may search for available datasets and then narrow by state, groups, sectors (government, non-profit, private, etc.), and access type (not machine readable, open, restricted, closed, etc.). The results display in a table listing the state/location, category, dataset title, group issuing the dataset, years included, and the direct link to access it. The major categories include: Corrections, Courts, Crime, Financial, Juvenile Justice, Law Enforcement, Victims, and Miscellaneous. All categories are further divided into subcategories.

NY JJD results

For example, the result page looks as follows (look to the left) when looking for Juvenile Justice – Delinquents datasets for the state of NY, listing 5 results with live links where the listed statistics can be accessed.

 

The Significance of the Skelos Trial to Government Corruption Cases

WRITTEN BY: Anjelica Cappellino, Esq. & Prof. John Meringolo, Esq.

Right on the heels of the highly publicized conviction of former New York Assembly Speaker, Sheldon Silver, former New York State Senate Majority Leader, Dean Skelos, and his son, Adam Skelos, were found guilty on federal corruption charges, including bribery, extortion, and conspiracy.

Dean Skelos used his position of power and authority to secure his son, Adam, consulting work and “no show” jobs at a real estate firm, environmental technology company, and a medical malpractice insurer. Adam netted approximately $300,000 from his father promising employers, among other favors, “preferential legislative treatment,” as one of the “three men in the room” that determine the state budget. Despite the easy monetary windfall he received from his father’s connections, Adam was indifferent, and oftentimes downright belligerent, at the suggestion that he should actually work at these jobs. Christopher Curcio, Adam’s supervisor at the medical insurance company, recalled Adam’s response to Curcio’s request that he log in some hours in the office. “He said, ‘Guys like you couldn’t shine my shoes…If you talk to me like that again, I’ll smash your f–kin’ head in.” After a slew of overwhelming evidence, including cooperating witnesses, emails, and wiretaps between the father and son duo, a jury found both men guilty of all eight counts after a total of eight hours of deliberation.

The conviction was a huge victory for the Southern District of New York’s United States Attorney, Preet Bharara, who tweeted, “How many prosecutions will it take before Albany gives the people of New York the honest government they deserve?” Bharara’s question is one that many New Yorkers have asked over the years and optimistically, it looks like it may be answered soon.

While there have been missteps during the prosecution of corrupt political figures in Albany – the Skelos investigation was commenced by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s anticorruption panel, the Moreland Commission, which was created in July 2013 but subsequently disbanded nine months later – the trial and conviction of the Skeloses, and its temporal overlapping with Sheldon Silver’s trial, suggest a strong change in the tides for the United States Attorney’s Office. While drug offenses remain the most frequently prosecuted crimes in the United States federal courts, accounting for 31% of all defendant filings in 2014, there is also a steady decrease in the prosecution of these crimes. Drug offense prosecutions have dropped approximately 14% last year, while immigration offenses, the second most frequently prosecuted crime in federal court, declined by 8%. The Southern District of New York also boasts a shockingly high conviction rate across the board – over 95% of all criminal cases result in a plea of guilty. In light of their conviction rates and the steady decline of the two more frequently prosecuted federal crimes, it is fair to assume that the Southern District not only has the resources to take on Albany corruption, but also plays to win.

Just as immigration and drug offenses have been the crux of the Southern District’s prosecution strategy for decades, it seems as though the Skelos and Silver trials are ushering in a new era where political corruption is at the forefront of concern. Hopefully, the Southern District (and by extension, all federal district courts) can use these convictions as encouragement for a task that is well within its powers – in the words of Bharara, to give the people of New York an honest government.

Related Readings:

Is America Becoming a Nation of Ex-Cons?

POST WRITTEN BY: John Humbach, Professor of Law at Pace Law School.

graphMuch has been written about the extraordinary rates of incarceration as a pressing criminal justice problem. Mass incarceration is, however, only part of the challenge posed by the American criminal justice system. Already, an estimated 25% of U.S. adults have a criminal record and, with a million new felony convictions per year—one every 30 seconds—America’s ex-offender population is growing exponentially (see chart to the right). Our country is well on its way to becoming a nation of ex-cons.

The effects of being a “criminal” do not, moreover, end with release from prison. Newly released inmates are immediately met by a growing assortment of law-prescribed “collateral consequences” that now number in the tens of thousands. In their cumulative impact, these legal disabilities greatly reduce the ability of ex-offenders to find housing, make a living, get an education, obtain bank loans, support their children or, generally, to enjoy the usual rights and amenities of citizenship that are essential for a reasonable quality of life.  As a result, our nation’s criminal-justice policy is literally re-making America into a legally divided multi-stratum society with an entrenched system of law-sanctioned discrimination against a large and growing underclass with a legally-prescribed inferior civic status.

Already, the ex-offender class is the nation’s largest legally discriminated-against minority group, and it is growing. The adverse social implications of this trend remain unclear and the critical demographic tipping point is still uncertain. But whatever the details, this is surely not good path for the nation to be on.

Graph Source: 

Related Readings: 

  • John Humbach, Is America Becoming a Nation of Ex-Cons?, 12 Ohio St. J. Crim. L. 605 (2015) (SSRN) (Pace Digital Commons).  

Interactive Map Displaying Exonerations in the United States

exonerationsmapPhD. Pamela Perez, Professor of biostatistics at Loma Linda University, conducted research for Safer-America.com in which she examined the 1,450 exonerations listed on the National Registry of Exonerations as of Oct. 20, 2014. She reported that although one cannot know for sure, the numbers collected so far show that “[B]lack Americans are exonerated at a substantially slower rate than any other race.” The collected data was then translated into an interactive map showing exoneration information through the United States breaking down exonerations by state, crime and race of the wrongfully convicted.

Pace Criminal Justice Blog has reported on the issue of wrongful convictions and exonerations, including, among others, the following posts:

Additional Reading: