Best practices for collecting criminal justice data

9/19/2016 feature story

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Michael G. Mueller-Smith

Project Information:

Criminal Justice Administrative Records System (CJARS) Pilot

The Criminal Justice Administrative Records System (CJARS) is a joint endeavor between the University of Michigan and the US Census Bureau to collect a wide range of administrative data including arrest records, court proceedings, incarceration records, and other sanction files. These records will be linked at the person level and merged with non-criminal data held at the Census. This project will: (1) ensure the viability of this endeavor, (2) build relationships with practitioners, (3) determine the best practices for data collection and harmonization, and (4) assess the cost of a nationwide scale-up. The project involves three core states (California, Michigan, and Texas) over four years with the potential for two add-on states (New York and Florida) as time permits.

Michael G. Mueller-Smith

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