DSS-J currently collects data from six major sources. Together, these systems represent most of the agencies that offenders will encounter as they move throughout the justice system, from the time an incident is first reported (BOEC), to the arrest (PPDS), to the booking and pre-trial custody (SWIS), to the District Attorney’s charging decision (CRIMES), to the final case disposition (OJIN). However, there are significant gaps in this continuum that DSS-J must fill in order of fully represent the justice system:
- CIS-DOC: Although DSS-J receives data from DOC on a regular basis, most of the data has yet to be validated and linked with other system data. CIS data includes information on inmates within Oregon Department of Corrections (such as housing placement, length of stay, classification, etc.) as well as post-prison clients placed on community supervision.
- Gresham Police Department: Over 11,000 crimes were reported last year in Gresham; about seven percent of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office bookings result from arrests made by Gresham Police. Despite the significant levels of crime in Gresham, DSS-J does not collect data from the Gresham Police Department. Integration of this data may be delayed as the current system is incorporated into PPDS’s new data management system.
- LEDS: The Oregon LEDS (Law Enforcement Data System) contains the state’s criminal history database and includes information on offenders for crimes committed outside of Multnomah County; data from this system is not currently available in DSS-J. Previous attempts to integrate this data have met with failure due to LEDS’ strict access and data security requirements.
- MPD: Metropolitan Public Defenders keeps data on clients, caseloads, and other information that would provide a more complete image of people’s journey through the justice system; data from this system is not currently available in DSS-J.
In addition to including data from additional sources in DSS-J, the system also needs to allow users to quickly and accurately link data from different systems in order to explore the associations between system activities and outcomes. As the CJIS 2008 Feasibility Study indicates,
Justice partners need the ability to access complete and accurate information through the justice process… DSSJ provides some valuable interagency statistics, but there is a need for summary information that is not available in DSSJ… This information is unavailable largely because the cross-agency linking that is required to provide this analysis is not available (pp. 46-47).
Several existing reports in DSS-J would benefit from the inclusion of cross-agency data, such as Recidivism reports, Sentencing Support Tools, and the FTA report (in development).
Although the data in DSS-J has been validated to ensure that the codes and links are made correctly, the system still encounters data anomalies, often as the result of differing methodologies between systems, similar names for vastly different variables and delays in data entry. In order to maintain confidence in DSS-J’s data, inconsistencies in data across agency databases must be systematically addressed.
- Determine the feasibility of including data from GPD, LEDS, and MPD within DSS-J. If feasible, begin process of obtaining permissions and validating data. Lead: County IT / DSS-J Security Committee
- Continue to validate DOC data and ensure that most appropriate data is sourced from the DOC system in order to make corrections and community corrections data accessible to analysts and other DSS-J users through the Web tool and Cognos (or its replacement). Lead: Gail McKeel and Diana Manthe
- Expand data linking between systems by training DSS-J advanced users how to link data between systems in Cognos and by encouraging DSS-J General Users to make requests of DSS-J staff when they would like to collect cross-agency, linked data. Lead: County IT / Elizabeth Davies
- Develop a shared drive or website for DSS-J users to report and help troubleshoot data problems and anomalies. County IT will be responsible for ensuring that all problems reported are resolved or forwarded onto to the appropriate source agency. Lead: County IT / Elizabeth Davies
- Enhance the Sentencing Support Tool by allowing users to access common combinations of dispositions (versus independent sentencing elements) and by including more offender-based variables (such as program outcomes and risk and need assessments) and more sophisticated measures of recidivism (such as frequency and severity). Lead: Sentencing Support Focus Group/ Elizabeth Davies / DSS-J County IT