The WSICJ has taken several steps to improve data linkages between agencies. In prior years we have connected with several research partners in an attempt to conduct research projects that combine agency records of criminal justice and non-criminal justice agencies. While often project specific, the linkages created are extremely valuable and allow the WSICJ to play a key data management role in the examination of findings that cross disciplines. The main sources of data have been established through overarching and consistent data sharing agreements and through an ongoing project exploring our abilities to combine multiple data sources.
Washington State Department of Correction Research Partnership
Since 2012, the WSICJ and the Washington State Department of Corrections (WADOC) have worked collaboratively, sharing resources in an effort to provide application based research for the state. As part of our ongoing collaborative efforts, the WADOC provides funding for a full time graduate Research Assistant (RA) to learn, create, and assemble research-based data sets. Under a collaborative Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) the WSICJ receives monthly data downloads of key tables of WADOC operations and offenders. Working with the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) we combine collected measures in multiple research efforts. Data sets created from the partnership have led to the development of the state’s new risk-needs assessment tools (the STRONG-R), the examination of institutional processes, and dozens of program evaluations. Our continuing partnership is scheduled to be renewed in 2021 and thus far has served as a mutually beneficial relationship that may serve as a resource for other researchers and state agencies to tap current resources and established linkages.
Washington State Center for Court Research Partnership
Similarly, a partnership has been established with the Administrate Office of the Courts (AOC) through consistent work with their research division the Washington State Center for Court Research (WSCCR). Linking juvenile, adult, court records a series of MOUs have afforded the completion of several research projects that combine data from multiple state agencies, including health, employment and various criminal justice agency records. These project linkages have allowed for the development of the state’s juvenile risk assessment tool (the PACT), longitudinal examinations of offending patterns, and several county specific drug court evaluations. Future partnership efforts will attempt to further link the WSICJ and WSCCR to create a data warehouse that will serve as a data management resource for researchers and state agencies for years to come.
ERDC Project Summary
The US Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences (IES) has awarded the Washington State Office of Financial Management’s (OFM) Education and Research Data Center (ERDC) a four-year grant in support of the development and use of statewide, longitudinal data systems (SLDSs). A portion of the grant funding has been awarded to the Washington State Center for Court Research (WSCCR) and the Washington State Institute for Criminal Justice (WSICJ) at Washington State University (WSU), primarily for development of reporting using education data from the Washington Office of Financial Management’s Education and Research Data Center (ERDC) shared with the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), in combination with WSCCR’s Court Contact and Recidivism Database (CCRD).
The purpose of the project will be to construct a data warehouse to be retained by the Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) containing individual-level data from the AOC Court Contact and Recidivism Database (CCRD) linked to education data from the P-20W data warehouse in the Office of Financial Management (OFM). A data pipeline will be created to allow future researchers to pull recurrent educational and juvenile justice data for continued reporting and analyses in Washington. A larger purpose of the collaboration is to build and streamline the capacity in Washington State to conduct research on the relationship between juvenile justice referrals and processing, education and employment progress and recidivistic outcomes. The research project will define, research, and report on the prior education experience and outcomes by juvenile offender sentencing type.
The data warehouse will be established to further the following study goals: (1) assess recent trends in school attendance, truancy petitions and court-based truancy interventions; (2) determine any racial/ethnic and gender disproportionality in school attendance and truancy petitions; (3) evaluate educational outcomes for youth who have experienced referrals to both the juvenile justice and child welfare system; (4) strengthen education in juvenile detention centers; and (5) assess outcomes for youth involved with juvenile probation evidence based programs.