Illinois Criminal History and Recidivism Tool

Supported by a Bureau of Justice Statistics State Justice Statistics (BJS SJS) grant, the web-based Criminal History and Recidivism Analysis Tool is now available on the Illinois SAC website: This new tool allows users to explore patterns of prior criminal history of various prisoner cohorts admitted to the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) over the last decade, and determine their long-term post-release recidivism rates. The data analysis tool has two distinct functions. The criminal history function can be used to obtain aggregate statistics on prior criminal histories for persons entering and exiting IDOC. The recidivism function calculates the subsequent recidivism rates for persons released from IDOC. In order to provide meaningful results, the data are organized into three-year groupings (cohorts), beginning with 1998. Results for criminal history and recidivism events are calculated in two ways: 1) by a single overall measure (listed as "any offense type" in tables and charts) that only counts each person once; and 2) by non-mutually exclusive offense types (person, property, drug, violent sex, other).

Criminal History Function

The source of information on prior criminal history is the Illinois State Police Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) System and IDOC administrative records. Therefore, only events occurring in Illinois and successfully posted to these systems are available for statistical calculations. The tool allows the user to choose the particular starting point of interest (admission to prison or release from prison) for any three-year range (cohort) starting from 1998. Results on the number of prior arrests, convictions, probation sentences and prison admissions will be displayed for a specified county or for Illinois as a whole.

Recidivism Function

Recidivism is defined in this tool as criminal justice events recorded for an individual in the CHRI system or IDOC administrative records after his/her release from IDOC. Therefore, only events occurring in Illinois and successfully posted to these systems are available for recidivism calculations. The data allow for recidivism rates to be calculat-ed for the following categories: subsequent arrests, convictions, new probation sentences, and new prison admissions. The recidivism period is calculated from the selected cohort period through as far as June 2012, unless otherwise limited by the user to the standard three years after release from IDOC.

Adult Redeploy Illinois Program Evaluation

Adult Redeploy Illinois is a performance-based funding program designed to offer incentives to Illinois counties to divert low-level, nonviolent offenders from prison through improved local services and community supervision. There are currently 16 program sites, including two judicial circuits. These sites are using funding for drug court programs or intensive probation supervision, while one site, Cook County, is using funding for a modified version of Hawaii's Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) program, a high-intensity probation supervision program. The goals of the evaluation are to assess how closely program implementation has adhered to grant agreements and identified program models, and to identify areas where these programs can be enhanced to improve successful outcomes for participants. The evaluation will take information gathered from interviews with program staff on routine activities, as well as data collected on clients enrolled in the programs, to monitor implementation progress and the utilization of specific treatment interventions. It will gauge the programs' progress on specific performance measures, and identify areas for improvement in services to ensure program sustainability and replicability. Once implementation evaluations have been completed, the project will transition to evaluating program outcomes.

Measuring fidelity to each site's underlying model is the main goal of the current evaluation. Since the participating sites are using established models like drug courts and intensive probation with services, key components checklists were identified or developed when necessary. These checklists describe the ten or so components of a model that should be present. An existing document was used for drug courts and the HOPE model, while a key component checklist was drafted for intensive probation programs from relevant research literature.

The two main inputs being used with these checklists are interviews with program staff and stakeholders and individual-level probation information. Staff and stakeholder interviews have been conducted at two separate points in time. The first phase gathered stakeholder opinions and insights into the planning process, while phase two gathered information on day-to-day operations at each site. Since each site is using a different programmatic model (specialty courts or variations on intensive probation programs), the questions asked of staff at each site were designed to help determine how closely the actual implementation at each site corresponds with the key components of that particular model. Case-level data are gathered by each site using either an existing management information system, or a database created specifically for Adult Redeploy data collection. Information collected includes current probation case details, offense history, treatment referrals and progress, non-compliance, frequency of contact with probation officers, and probation termination information. Data gathered from the interviews will be combined with data on individuals in the programs to provide a holistic view of program implementation. After the level of adherence to the program model has been measured, cost information will be used to determine the fiscal impact of these programs. As outcome evaluations are completed, actual cost-benefit information for these specific sites can be calculated.

The performance measurement efforts of Adult Redeploy Illinois are complementary to the evaluation. By participating, sites agree to divert 25% of an identified target population who otherwise would have been sentenced to the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). At the end of each funding period, the sites are evaluated on their progress towards the 25% diversion. Progress is measured using data collected from the sites and then cross-referencing these individuals with a live inmate tracking tool available on the IDOC website. Data are also used to measure performance on other indicators, including successful completion of treatment, number of arrests while clients are in the program, and compliance with probation conditions. Performance measurement facilitates program improvement at the sites, as research staff conduct quarterly data analysis and provide feedback to the staff and stakeholders at each site. This is an ongoing collaborative process that will continue as the implementation evaluation is completed.