For Immediate Release: 10/17/2018
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services launches Criminal Justice Knowledge Bank and Research Consortium
Criminal Justice Knowledge Bank website allows professionals to share innovative ideas and best practices, promotes research partnership
Consortium connects local agencies with academics to solve real-world problems and assess the effectiveness of strategies to reduce crime
The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) today announced a new website for criminal justice professionals to share promising and innovative programs and practices designed to reduce crime and recidivism. The Criminal Justice Knowledge Bank provides professionals the opportunity to learn from each other and access national criminal justice resources and also features information about the Criminal Justice Research Consortium, which connects police, prosecutors and probation professionals with academics across the state to research and develop evidence-based approaches to address specific public safety issues in their communities.
“New York’s crime and incarceration rates have reached all-time lows, attributable in part to the innovative work of agencies at the state and local level. We created the Knowledge Bank and Research Consortium to promote and expand the use of data-driven research and evidence-based programs that have been effective at helping communities across the state address public safety concerns,” said Michael C. Green, Executive Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Criminal Justice Services. “Our goal is to provide an invaluable resource for law enforcement professionals, allowing them to learn from each other and forge partnerships with academics to expand the body of research available to further improve public safety and criminal justice program outcomes across the state.”
The Criminal Justice Knowledge Bank (https://knowledgebank.criminaljustice.ny.gov) features summaries of programs and initiatives submitted by police, prosecutors and probation departments from across the state. The summaries include information on the problem the program was designed to target; details of its implementation and results, lessons learned by the agency or agencies involved, and useful advice for professionals seeking to implement the program in their jurisdiction. The site currently features eight programs from seven counties, including a group violence intervention program in Newburgh, Orange County, an adolescent diversion program in Nassau County, and an ignition interlock device enforcement project in Albany County.
The Research Consortium includes 60 researchers from 29 colleges and universities, including 11 from the State University of New York system. These academics are available to provide their expertise to local law enforcement agencies across the state, with the aim of developing solutions to criminal justice-related problems. Academics and criminal justice professionals may partner on projects that analyze data, such as reported crimes, criminal case volume or dispositions, to develop a strategy to address a specific problem; evaluate new policies or pilot programs; and survey the community on criminal justice issues.
The announcement of the Knowledge Bank and Research Consortium coincided with a two-day Data-Driven Decision Making Symposium hosted by DCJS for law enforcement professionals from agencies participating in the state’s Gun Involved Violence Elimination (GIVE) initiative and staff from the state-supported Crime Analysis Center Network. Approximately 380 professionals attend the symposium, which feature more than 20 presentations and workshops by nationally recognized criminal justice practitioners and researchers on topics including the use of technology in evidence-based policing, measuring police proactivity and the ways in which data and research can inform prosecution policies. The symposium concluded Tuesday, Oct. 16.
The Division of Criminal Justice Services also partnered with agencies that participate in GIVE – which the agency administers – to pilot six research projects through the Consortium. Four of those projects are ongoing, while two others were recently completed. Project outcomes will be shared through the Knowledge Bank as they become available. The agency also has small grants available to fund Consortium projects, which can be submitted by any criminal justice agency in the state. The agency may already have a partnership with a Consortium researcher but if not, DCJS will connect the agency with a researcher who has appropriate expertise for the project.
Now in its fifth year, GIVE provides $13.3 million in state funding to law enforcement to support operations, training and technical assistance. GIVE supports 20 police departments – Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Hempstead, Jamestown, Kingston, Mt. Vernon, Middletown, Nassau County, Newburgh, Niagara Falls, Poughkeepsie, Rochester, Schenectady, Spring Valley, Suffolk County, Syracuse, Troy, Utica and Yonkers – and their partner district attorneys’ offices, probation departments and sheriffs’ offices in 17 counties.
Agencies participating in GIVE must design a gun violence reduction plan that employs at least two of the following evidence-based strategies: hot-spots policing, focused deterrence, street outreach, and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. In addition, all participating agencies must integrate procedural justice into their plan. Procedural justice is designed to enhance police-community relations by ensuring interactions between law enforcement and individuals are fair, and that individuals who encounter police believe they are being treated equitably and respectfully during those encounters.
Supported by the Division of Criminal Justice Services in partnership with local law enforcement, the Crime Analysis Center network serves 19 counties and more than 300 agencies from Western New York to the North Country and Southern Tier to the Capital Region. The Centers will assist any law enforcement agency upon request. In addition to being connected to each other, Crime Analysis Centers have access to data and information from locally supported centers in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties.The Division of Criminal Justice Services (www.criminaljustice.ny.gov) is a multi-function criminal justice support agency with a variety of responsibilities, including law enforcement training; collection and analysis of statewide crime data; maintenance of criminal history information and fingerprint files; administrative oversight of the states DNA databank, in partnership with the New York State Police; funding and oversight of probation and community correction programs; administration of federal and state criminal justice funds; support of criminal justice-related agencies across the state; and administration of the state’s Sex Offender Registry.