This awardee has received supplemental funding. This award detail page includes information about both the original award and supplemental awards.
Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2005, $74,598)
In this grant, a team at the University at Albany will develop a proof of concept computer simulation model to examine the effects of technological innovations through the flow of criminals in the criminal justice system in a generic state.
The criminal justice system in the United States is large, complex and involves the activities of a number of relatively independent entities. These independent entities range from State and local police departments, to DAs, courts, jails, prisons, probation, and parole. A criminal passing through the system may come into contact with all of these entities at one time or another.
This project will look at how a criminal moves through the system, map out the resources required, and develop a formal computer simulation model. The formal computer simulation model would represent an aggregate view of the system over which assumptions about the effectiveness of different technologies could be overlaid in order to capture the movement of criminals through the criminal justice system. This model would be used as a proof-of-concept model that could be used to think through the allocation of technology resources through the system. The model would also be a starting point for additional modeling that would disaggregate the system further for additional analysis.
The key issues to be examined by the formal system dynamics model will be:
1) What are the system wide implications of technological improvements?
2) Will technological improvement in one area result in performance problems in other parts of the system?
The computer simulation model developed in 2006 (2005-IJ-CX-K045) that examined the effect of technology on the flow of criminals through the criminal justice system will be expanded in 2007. Specifically, model detail will be added to those sectors identified as having the greatest potential for system wide cost savings. In addition, a user interface for the model will be developed to make the simulation technology available to policy analysts for the purpose of undertaking extensive analysis. Feedback and comments from users will be used to modify the model for better performance.
NIJ has funded the development of a system dynamics computer simulation model that examined the flow of criminals through the criminal justice system in New York State and the system wide implications of changes in technology on that flow. This year we propose expanding to address questions about changing crime patterns and the impact of policies aimed at particular crimes on the rest of the system. Furthermore, the model will be expanded to disaggregate prison sentences so that length of sentence questions may be addressed. Also, in previous data collection rounds we identified a lack of organization in the data. We will use the model to organize a template for data collection that will allow data collectors and users to more easily match data to the criminal justice system's structure. Continue to adjust the model and make it available both as a stand alone product and with guidance to model consumers identified by the researchers and by NIJ.