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Current Projects

Arizona Youth Survey (AYS)

SAC staff is wrapping up the 2012 administration of Arizona Youth Survey. For the 2012 survey several new questions were added including questions that measure youth use of synthetic (e.g., bath salts, K2/Spice) and club drugs (Special K, Rohypnol), cyber-bullying victimization, youth social support, and military status (if any) of respondents’ parents. Additionally, we revised our measures of youth marijuana use to better understand the impact of the Medical Marijuana Act on youth marijuana use. For the 2012 AYS, more than 300 schools, representing approximately 85,000 potential youth respondents participated. It is anticipated that schools will begin receiving their data late this summer, with county and state reports to follow shortly thereafter.

Arizona Crime Victimization Survey

In September, 2011 SAC staff was notified of a Bureau of Justice Statistics grant award for $92,463 to conduct a crime victimization survey for Arizona. The Arizona Crime Victimization Survey is modeled after the National Crime Victimization Survey and will provide estimates of criminal victimization for the state and the two largest counties in Arizona. SAC staff has developed a sampling strategy and methodology for the survey and a draft survey is currently undergoing stakeholder review.

Prescription Drug Initiative

SAC staff is working with the Governor’s Office for Children, Youth, and Families and the Arizona Substance Abuse Partnership on a 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, the experts and attendees 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 three counties. Over the course of 18 months, the strategies will be implemented in each of the counties in a stage-wise process. The start date for the three counties will be staggered, with the goal of having each successive wave (i.e., county) incorporate the lessons learned from the preceding projects. Both process and outcome evaluation measures will be tracked as a way of monitoring success and for determining the feasibility of implementing the model on a statewide basis.

Annual Gang Report

Utilizing a threat assessment tool developed by the National Alliance of Gang Investigator’s Associations, SAC staff is working on state and county reports assessing the prevalence and activity of gangs and gang members in Arizona. The state report is currently undergoing internal review, with the county reports to follow. The Arizona Gang Threat Assessment is based on surveys completed by local police agencies, county sheriffs’ offices, and tribal law enforcement agencies.

Drug Data Clearinghouse: Community Data Project

SAC staff continues development of the Community Data Project. The Community Data Project enhances access to drug and crime data for policymakers and practitioners through the use of a web-based data tool. Since the last report, SAC staff has improved the user interface and uploaded additional data. The Community Data Project can be accessed at: http://www.bach-harrison.com/arizonadataproject/Indicators.aspx.

State Justice Statistics Program FY2012

In early July 2012, the AZSAC was awarded $68,289 from the Bureau of Justice Statistics to support two projects, 1) an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of using surcharges, fines, and fees collected from convicted offenders to support criminal justice system activities; and 2) the creation and dissemination of county-level criminal justice data profiles. An analysis of the DEA, CJEF, and victim assistance funds used to support Arizona’s criminal justice system will allow ACJC to better understand how and why fund balances vary over time.

In addition to an analysis of change in fund revenues and balances, this project will also investigate several potentially related criminal justice system activities including, the number and rate of crime, the number and rate of convictions for drug offenses, the ratio of fines to convictions, sentencing practices, and the economic conditions of our state and whether that has impacted offenders’ ability to meet their financial obligations to the criminal justice system. These and other potential impacts on the DEA, CJEF, and victim assistance funds will be investigated to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of Arizona’s use of offenders’ surcharged, fines, and fees to fund Arizona’s criminal justice system.

The purpose of the county criminal justice profiles are to organize and present relevant criminal justice system data for local policymakers and practitioners to support data driven policy and decision-making. County-level data that is comparable to the data in the Crime Trends report will be collected and prepared for publication for all 15 counties.