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Assessing and Enhancing the Utility of NIBRS Data

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $40,000)

Problem: Data produced by the FBI's National Incident-Based Crime Reporting System (NIBRS) offers researchers, policy analysts and practitioners exceptional opportunities for understanding crime. Yet several factors limit the use of NIBRS data for crime research and policy analysis. First, many assume the data are biased due to lack of national coverage, overrepresentatlon of smaller population areas, and incomplete reporting of item data. Second, the inherent complexity of NIBRS data limits access to the criminal justice community. Goals and Objectives: This effort will measure the bias in Nl BRS data and establish how that bias is changing over time as agencies increasingly employ NIBRS reporting. We will compare crime statistics derived from NIBRS data with those derived from Summary UCR data, Supplementary Homicide Reports
and National Crime Victimization Survey. In addition, the project will establish standards for item missing data in NIBRS by tracking the reporting of various incident-level details over a sixteen year period. The second goal is to facilitate access to NIBRS data and allow users to explore relationships in the data. First, we plan to develop tools for the on-line analysis of NIBRS data. Second, we plan to extract data from NIBRS for common crime data studies, for example, victim/offender relationships. Users will be able to import this data into statistical packages or spreadsheets with pivot tables that provide multiple views of the data. Project Strategy: For comparing NIBRS with other sources of crime data, we plan to follow established methodologies in the published literature. In addition. project work will leverage our existing relational database implementation of NIBRS data for the years 1995 to 2010. The project also will leverege commercial software that interfaces with this database and provides online analysis processing. The project will involve an extensive literature study to determine NIBRS data to make available for specific crime studies of frequent interest to researchers. Partnerships: Project tools and data will be made available to the FBI UCR program, ICPSR the NY State Bureau of Criminal Justice Services. Partnerships with researchers and policy analysts will be established though a one day conference on NIBRS and presentation of results in the open literature. Deliverables: Deliverables include tools for multidimensional analysis of NIBRS data and subsets of NIBRS data for specialized studies, reports detailing comparisons of NIBRS with other crime data sources, and standards for NIBRS item missing data. ca/ncf

Date Created: September 11, 2014