New York Statewide Criminal Justice Data Dictionary - 10th Edition

The Statewide Criminal Justice Data Dictionary is a product of the Data Standardization Project coordinated by DCJS and contains standard data definitions developed for the electronic transmission of vital criminal justice data. This document provides the common language needed to facilitate automated data sharing within the criminal justice community. The Dictionary is designed to provide agencies with maximum flexibility in meeting their own unique operational needs for information while establishing the means to transfer elements of common interest between agencies.

The web-based version of the Dictionary is slightly modified from the tenth print edition of the Dictionary, published in June 2001. This web-based version includes features and functionality not available in the print version. As with the June 2001 edition, this version contains a total of 455 standardized elements. In addition, it contains minor updates and provides a direct link to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). The web-based version will continue to be periodically updated, as needed.

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Questions / Comments - The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services welcomes questions and comments regarding the Statewide Criminal Justice Data Dictionary, including recommendations for new data elements and revisions to existing elements. Please send your questions and comments to infodcjs@dcjs.ny.gov

Technical Assistance - "If you experience technical problems with this site, please email the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, or call 518-457-5837 or 1-800-262-DCJS/262-3257

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Purpose

The purpose of the Data Standardization project is to establish standardized data elements to facilitate the electronic transfer of essential criminal justice data between agencies. Lack of standardization was identified as a major impediment to effective automation and data exchange in a statewide study conducted in 1984. Each of the agencies participating in the study cited the need for standardized data. Many agencies collected the same information, which resulted in a massive and costly duplication of effort. Because data was not standardized, the transfer of information between agencies was usually difficult, and sometimes impossible, to achieve. In addition, accuracy of data was reduced due to lack of standardization.

Dedication

In Memory of Robert N Kaye

The criminal justice community suffered a severe loss in the summer of 2000 when Robert N. Kaye passed away. Bob provided distinguished service to the people of the State of New York throughout his career. At the time of his death, Bob was Deputy District Attorney with the Kings County District Attorney's Office. Bob was one of the earliest founders of the data standards movement. In the mid-1980s, Bob served as Assistant Criminal Justice Coordinator for the Office of the Mayor of the City of New York. It was a time when many new computer systems were being developed with little or no commonality with other systems. Bob saw that data standards were necessary to facilitate data sharing. With this in mind, he helped to marshall the resources of numerous New York City agencies to join in with the State's data standards efforts. As a result, twenty years later, systems do talk to each other and public safety is better served. As you read through this documentation, design your systems and share your data, please remember Bob Kaye.

Expression of Appreciation

Special thanks are extended to the participating agencies and associated staff who have worked cooperatively to make the Data Standardization project a success.

New York State Data Standardization Project Participants:
Albany City Police Department
Allegany County Sheriff's Department
Bronx County District Attorney's Office
Broome County Sheriff's Department
Columbia County Sheriff's Department
Fulton County Sheriff's Department
Kings County District Attorney's Office
Niagara County Supreme and County Courts
New York City Criminal Justice Agency
New York City Department of Correction
New York City Police Department
New York County District Attorney's Office
New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, Inc.
New York State Commission of Correction
New York State Department of Correctional Services
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services
New York State Division of Parole
New York State Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
New York State Division of State Police
New York State Office of Children and Family Services
New York State Office of Court Administration
New York State Sheriffs' Association
Onondaga County Sheriff's Department
Queens County District Attorney's Office
Ulster County Supreme Court
Westchester County Department of Public Safety
Westchester County District Attorney's Office

Organization / Process

The Data Standardization project provides a strong foundation for the development of sound policy and program planning and is also a model of interagency coordination. This project involves the collaboration of over 20 State and local criminal justice agencies and associations, including the Office of Court Administration.

The coordination of the project is accomplished through the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), Systems Planning and Standards. This effort involves various agencies at the State and local level working together to adapt individual information systems to common data standards.

Agency and association representatives serve on data standards teams that have been established for the following three functional areas: Law Enforcement, Courts, and Corrections. A Liaison Committee also functions to resolve any outstanding team issues. The Liaison Committee is composed of the team leaders from each of the three functional area teams and representatives from the DCJS Project Development Unit.

Product

The result of this collaborative project is the development of a resource document known as the Statewide Criminal Justice Data Dictionary which establishes standards to be used for the electronic transfer of data elements between criminal justice agencies.

The Dictionary is designed to provide agencies with maximum flexibility in meeting their own unique operational needs for information while establishing the means to transfer elements of common interest between agencies. Agencies may store and maintain information according to the data standard, or in any way that meets their needs, so long as they apply the established standards when they electronically transfer data.

Because the Statewide Criminal Justice Data Dictionary is designed for the transfer of information between agencies, it only includes data elements likely to be of interest to more than one agency. As the informational needs of criminal justice agencies change, the Dictionary will be updated to reflect identified requirements.

Data Standardization Approval Policy

Agencies that participate in the Data Standardization Project have agreed to the following policy regarding final approval of the standards:

  • Where the agency has a data element and can convert the element to the Data Dictionary standards, it will do so for the purpose of interagency transmission.
  • Where the agency has a data element that cannot be converted to the Dictionary standards and the agency is planning system development, it will design the data element so that, for the purpose of interagency transmission, it can meet the standards unless there are over-riding agency needs.
  • Where the agency has a data element, but cannot convert it and has no plans for system development, there is no commitment to meet the Data Dictionary standards for that element.
  • Where the agency does not collect the data element, it does not commit itself to do so.
  • This approval applies to electronic transmission; it does not obligate the agency to internally collect and maintain information according to these standards.

Explanation of Data Dictionary Format

ELEMENT - Name of data element.

DEFINITION - Description/meaning of a data element.

STANDARD OF VERIFICATION - The means of establishing the validity of the information captured by a data element in order to avoid falsification.

DATA TYPE - This indicates the structural format of data contained in the field. For example: N=Numeric A=Alphabetic AN=Alphanumeric

FIELD SIZE - Number of positions contained in the field.

FIELD FORMAT - The logical configuration of the field in terms of data type and field size. If the format is open-ended it will include the Data Type and Field Format. If it is a restricted format it will so indicate by delimiting the format (i.e. Date of Birth YYYYMMDD).

ORIGINATING TEAM(S) - The Team(s) which standardized the data element.

USER TEAM(S) - Any Team(s) that use the data element.

TABLES/CODES - Established values of a standardized data element. For example the standard for the data element, RELIGION, includes the values "Protestant," "Catholic," "Jewish," "Muslim," "Other," "None," and "Unknown."

COMMENTS - Any remarks necessary to assist the user in understanding how the element is collected, coded, used or formatted.

Updating Procedure

The current procedures for updating the Statewide Criminal Justice Data Dictionary are listed below:

  • Periodic updates to the Data Dictionary may first be made to the web site. Users are encouraged to access the web site to browse and download the Dictionary including any updates.
  • Updates to the paper version of the Data Dictionary will be done periodically and will include all updates previously included on the WEB site.

Treatment of Residual Codes

In addition to substantive codes, generally regarded as "real data," some statistical systems employ the use of "residual codes." Residual codes are values employed in lieu of leaving a field blank, when none of the substantive values apply. Residual codes include the value "Not Applicable," "Not Reported" and, sometimes, "Unknown."

The distinction between residual and substantive codes is best explained through example. In the Incident-Based Uniform Crime Reporting System (NYSIBR) in development at the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), the data element, "Sex," has the substantive values of "Male," "Female" and "Unknown." However, when the victim of a crime is a business, the sex of the victim is "Not Applicable." As an alternative to leaving the field blank when the data is not reported or not available, the residual codes are used. Whereas a blank invites interpretation, residual codes can impart real informational value to the statistician, planner and policy maker.

List of Abbreviations

  • Bronx County DA - Bronx County District Attorney's Office
  • CC/JJIS - New York City Juvenile Justice Information System Corporation Counsel
  • Chiefs - New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, Inc.
  • CJA - New York City Criminal Justice Agency
  • DA Offices (outside of NYC) - District Attorney Offices outside of New York City
  • DCJS - New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services
  • DOCS - New York State Department of Correctional Services
  • DPCA - New York State Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives
  • Kings County DA - Kings County District Attorney's Office
  • LAS - New York City Legal Aid Society
  • NYC DOC - New York City Department of Correction
  • NYC Probation - New York City Department of Probation
  • NY County DA - New York County District Attorney's Office
  • NYPD - New York City Police Department
  • NYSP - New York State Division of State Police
  • OCA - New York State Office of Court Administration
  • OCFS - New York State Office of Children and Family Services
  • OVS - New York State Office of Victim Services (formerly Crime Victims Board)
  • Parole - New York State Division of Parole
  • PROB/JJIS Y - New York City Juvenile Justice Information System-Probation
  • Queens County DA - Queens County District Attorney's Office
  • SCOC - New York State Commission of Correction
  • Sheriffs - New York State Sheriffs' Association
  • VSA - New York City Victim Service Agency

Updating User Information: If you have previously received a non-electronic version of the Data Dictionary, and any information has changed since you have last done so, please provide the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services with your name and the revised information. Please also notify us if you would like to remove your name from the list to receive future non-electronic updates (Disc or CD versions) of the Statewide Criminal Justice Data Dictionary. Users of the Statewide Criminal Justice Data Dictionary are encouraged to contact the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services with feedback regarding the Dictionary, as well as recommendations for new data elements and the revision of existing of elements.


COPYRIGHT NOTICE FOR THE STATEWIDE CRIMINAL JUSTICE DATA DICTIONARY

Copyright © 2003 by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be copied or distributed without the express written permission of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.