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  SAC Spotlight: Idaho

Innovative Strategies

The ISAC does not receive state funds to complete projects, unless specifically commissioned by the Idaho State Police. Therefore, the ISAC has found creative solutions to leverage several federal grant funding streams. Federal funding sources include: the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG), and STOP Violence Against Women funding. The ISAC leverages this funding through its location in the Idaho State Police, as well as the partnerships developed through interagency collaboration. For example, using funds from three different grants, the ISAC contracted with the University of Idaho to conduct the recent 2012 Idaho Crime Victimization Survey. Questions for the survey came from a large consortium of individuals, including among others, Boise State University and the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. Other cross-funded efforts include reports on Idaho drug trends and domestic violence.

Access to Data through the Idaho State Police
The ISAC's location within the Idaho State Police (ISP) provides unique access to datasets that otherwise would be difficult to obtain. The ISP is the state repository for criminal history records and data from the Idaho Incident-Based Reporting System (IIBRS). This information comprises the backbone behind much of our work. IIBRS data is used for research into domestic violence and drug trend research. Crime reports generated by our office are the critical reason we are involved with multi-state agency collaborative efforts, such as the annual substance abuse profile compiled by the Idaho State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup, the Pew Charitable Trust Results First project, and Council for State Government's Justice Reinvestment Initiative. In addition, by comparing IIBRS data to our victimization survey rates provides a more complete picture of crime and problems arising from substance abuse across Idaho. Access to criminal history records has also allowed us to determine recidivism rates of offenders involved in various grant-funded programs and to conduct a special report identifying the characteristics of offenders in Idaho charged with stalking.

Interagency Collaboration
In addition to the ISAC's partnership with the Idaho State Police, we rely heavily upon interagency collaboration to complete projects and gain access to data. Through the Idaho Criminal Justice Commission Research Sub-Committee, the Idaho Substance Abuse Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup, and other state committees (many brought together through the Idaho Office of Drug Policy), the ISAC routinely meets and collaborates with the following agencies:

  • Idaho Office of Drug Policy
  • Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
  • Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections
  • Idaho Department of Correction
  • Idaho Sheriff's Association
  • Idaho Supreme Court
  • Idaho Department of Education

ISAC also collaborates with the JAG and STOP program managers to assist various sub-grantees with identifying resource and program needs and the development of performance measures. This work requires the willing participation of the sub-grant recipient, and is therefore considered an additional interagency collaborative effort. In addition, ISAC provides crime data analysis, maps, and locations of high crime areas for the annual JAG Strategy and the STOP Implementation Plan.

Idaho Crime Victimization Survey
The ISAC has been a leader in the development and analysis of state-wide crime victimization surveys. Since 1999, the SAC has conducted seven crime victimization surveys in coordination with the Social Science Research Unit (SSRU) at the University of Idaho. With increasing numbers of cell-phone only households, the 2008 survey was one of the first to include a dual-frame analysis with a weighted sample to account for the probability of falling within either sampling frame. Also in 2008 the survey questions were redesigned to allow for a valid comparison with National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) data, to understand the discrepancy between reported and unreported crime in Idaho. SSRU is currently in the process of surveying a random sample of cell-phone and land-lines in Idaho for our upcoming report: 2012 Idaho Crime Victimization Survey. The questionnaire asks for information on a variety of topics relevant to Idaho, including satisfaction with police services, experiences of property and/or violent crime, whether or not the crime was reported and why, feelings of safety within the respondent's community, and whether or not drugs or alcohol were part of the event.

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