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  SAC Spotlight:  Arizona

Featured Research Projects and Publications

Arizona Youth Survey
The Arizona Youth Survey (AYS) is a biennial school-based survey of 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-grade youth in Arizona that is conducted during the spring semester of even-numbered school years. The core questions of the AYS are the Hawkins and Catalano Risk and Protective Factor Framework, which allows the SAC to collect information on the individual, peer, school, family, and community factors that are correlated with youth delinquency, drug use, and anti-social behavior. In addition to the risk and protective factor data, self-report information on youth drug use, delinquency, and anti-social behavior is also collected, among other measures. The 2012 AYS had a sample size of 62,817 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-grade youth from more than 300 schools from all 15 counties in Arizona. To maximize the utility of the data, the SAC publishes AYS profiles for the state, all 15 counties, and the 10 most populous cities in Arizona. Additionally, the SAC uses these data to fill information requests for policymakers and practitioners that serve youth.

Criminal History Record Improvement
Use of Criminal History Record data for research purposes has long been a priority of the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission. The SAC uses this information to assess the performance of funds intended to reduce case processing times, describe the processing of sexual assault arrests in Arizona, and inform the efforts of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). At the same time, use of the criminal history record information for specific research purposes has highlighted for the state, county, and local agencies the strengths and weaknesses of the data in the criminal history records repository.

Arizona Prescription Drug Initiative
Arizona's Prescription Drug Initiative is a collaborative effort to address the misuse of prescription drugs and reduce the negative consequences of prescription drug misuse and abuse. More specifically, SAC staff are working with the Governor's Office for Children, Youth, and Families and the Arizona Substance Abuse Partnership to implement Arizona's Prescription Drug Reduction Initiative. The Rx Initiative implementation plan is based on input from local experts from law enforcement, the prevention field, and the medical community. Using the strategies proposed by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) as a starting point, team members formulated a set of data and research-driven strategies to be used in a multi-systemic, multi-agency approach to reduce prescription drug misuse in Arizona. In order to maximize return-on-investment, the proposed strategies will be conducted as a Feasibility Study, or pilot project, implemented in two counties over the course of 12 months in a stage-wise process. The start date for the counties will be staggered, with the goal of having the successive wave (i.e., county) incorporate the lessons learned from the preceding effort. Both process and outcome evaluation measures will be tracked by the SAC as a way of monitoring success and determining the feasibility of implementing the model on a statewide basis. To read more about Arizona's Prescription Drug Initative, see the article in the September 2012 issue of the JRSA Forum.

Arizona Crime Victimization Survey
Supported by funds from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the SAC is conducting Arizona's first statewide Arizona Crime Victimization Survey. Modeled after the National Crime Victimization Survey, the Arizona Survey will provide estimates of criminal victimization for the state and the two largest counties in Arizona. SAC staff collaborated with the Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety, which is housed in Arizona State University's School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, in the development of the sampling strategy and methodology for the survey.

Community Data Project
In addition to its research responsibilities, the Statistical Analysis Center facilitates the sharing of information and data about Arizona's criminal and juvenile justice systems with policymakers, practitioners, and the general public. For this purpose, the SAC implemented a Community Data Project that provides online access to a variety of measures of justice system and related activity. The Community Data Project is a web-based and interactive application that allows users to create maps, data tables, charts, and graphs that contain data specific to the user's needs.

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