The Systems and Research Division deals with issues relating to technology and statistics for the Crime Commission. There are three main areas that the Division has responsibility for: internal IT support, research & statistics, and criminal justice integration. The staff provides IT support for the Crime Commission’s day-to-day operations by overseeing office automation, acquisition, support and development of various internal programs. One major application that was developed is GMIS, the Grant Management Information System. This program automates the tracking and oversight of the more than 400 annual grants administered by the Grants Division. Research and statistics have been an ongoing and growing function within the Crime Commission to assist in planning and policy making at the local, state and federal levels. The UCR Section maintains annual crime and arrest statistics as well as doing audits and federal reporting. This provides the basis for state and national assessments of crime and activity. Reporting is done through both UCR (Uniform Crime Reporting) and NIBRS (National Incident Based Reporting System) in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
The Division participates in other federal initiatives through the Statistical Analysis Center (SAC) program funded by the Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. Several statewide databases are maintained with statistical information collected, compiled, published and released on a regular and ad hoc basis. Data sharing is essential for the effective administration of justice. The CJIS Advisory Committee is a cooperative project formed by the Crime Commission in 1995 to work on integration and data sharing among criminal justice agencies. The Division provides staff support for the CJIS (Criminal Justice Information System) Advisory Committee and oversees a number of projects. CJIS refers to the broad range of programs and activities undertaken as well as the committee itself. CJIS works on, sponsors and funds projects at state and local levels as well as activities that cross a variety of jurisdictional boundaries. Additionally, CJIS provides a mechanism for agencies to share information about internal projects.
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Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS)
The Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS) Advisory Committee was established by the Crime Commission in 1995 in response to recommendations from the Nebraska Intergovernmental Data Communications Advisory Council (NIDCAC). The CJIS Advisory Committee provides advice and direction on issues relating to data sharing and use of information technology among criminal justice agencies. The Committee advises the Crime Commission on criminal justice information system issues, establishes and promotes standards for data processing and communication, facilitates the development and coordination of state and local criminal justice information systems, provides an avenue for cooperation and coordination among state and local information systems and establishes future directions for data sharing.
Projects include the web-based data portal Nebraska Criminal Justice Information System (NCJIS) which allows law enforcement and criminal justice agencies secure access to criminal justice information.
Information Technology Support
Information Technology Support is primarily responsible for providing service for the Crime Commission's technology needs. In-house technical computer support is provided for a variety of local applications, systems, and hardware including desktop and server systems. Also the division serves as an advisory for computer technology needs and project development at the Crime Commission.
Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) / Nebraska Incident-based Reporting System (NIBRS)
In 1971, the Crime Commission was assigned the responsibility for the collection of Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Law enforcement agencies in the state are statutorily required to submit monthly Uniform Crime Reports detailing the number of crimes reported or known to them and the number of arrests. The law enforcement agencies required to submit reports include sheriffs’ departments, police departments, the State Patrol, two campus police departments, and the State Fire Marshal. The crime statistics are forwarded to the FBI UCR Program for inclusion in national crime statistics and for use by state and local agencies and policy makers.
Law enforcement agencies may report data in one of two formats to the Crime Commission. The first format is the traditional Uniform Crime Report (UCR) and the second format is the Nebraska Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). The UCR format collects crime data on eight crimes: murder-manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. Arrest data are collected on 28 categories of crime. NIBRS collects crime data on 22 crime categories and 32 arrest categories.
Statistical Analysis Center (SAC)
The Crime Commission’s Statistical Analysis Center’s (SAC) primary function is to provide accurate and timely research and statistical information to criminal and juvenile justice agencies to aid in planning and decision making. The United States Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics provides federal funding for partial operation of the SAC with the current grant focusing on juvenile justice issues, the Internet and incident-based reporting and analysis. The SAC also serves as a focal point for the exchange of statistical information between federal, state and local criminal and juvenile justice agencies. At the national level, the SAC works cooperatively with several entities such as the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Bureau of Justice Assistance, National Center for Juvenile Justice and Justice Research and Statistics Association as well as criminal and juvenile justice agencies from other states. At the state and local level, the SAC assists agencies in collecting and reporting required statistical information to the Crime Commission. The SAC also provides technical assistance to criminal and juvenile justice agencies in identifying statistical information needs and the appropriate technology to best meet those needs, including the use of commercial computer software and development of computer programs. The SAC and UCR Program annually provide statistical data for Kids Count In Nebraska. This annual source book, published by Voices For Children In Nebraska provides a variety of standard indicators on the status of children in Nebraska. In addition to ad hoc reports and periodic publications, special projects are undertaken by the SAC.
To provide information about the public's perception of criminal and juvenile justice issues such as violent crime, youth violence, drug abuse and victimization, statewide surveys have been conducted in conjunction with the University of Nebraska's Department of Sociology - Lincoln Bureau of Sociological Research. The results of the first statewide survey conducted in 1991 were published in Citizen Attitude Survey on Drugs and Drug Control in Nebraska. A second public opinion survey, encompassing 632 households statewide, was conducted in 1994 with the results published in Public Perspectives in Nebraska - A Survey of Community and Criminal Justice Issues. The second survey replicated many of the 1991 survey’s questions in an effort to gauge changes in public opinion about important social issues over time. The survey was expanded and repeated during 1997, focusing on issues and related legislation pending at the time in an effort to assist in planning and decision making. In 1998, updated survey results were provided to the Unicameral and Crime Commission. The SAC works cooperatively with various state and local agencies on joint data concerns make better use of information system technology and meet the changing needs of the criminal and juvenile justice communities. To this end, the SAC’s Director represents the Crime Commission on the Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS) Advisory Committee, providing primary staff support for the Committee and serving as the elected chairperson. Additionally, the SAC oversees the internal data processing operations of the Crime Commission and the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center, including training and computer programming. The SAC maintains several statewide databases in conjunction with the Crime Commission’s various divisions, including the Jail and Juvenile Detention Admission and Release Database, Juvenile Court Database and Drug and Violent Crime Database.