The Statistical Analysis Centers (SACs) are units or agencies at the state government level that use operational, management, and research information from all components of the criminal justice system to conduct objective analyses of state-wide and system-wide policy issues. SACs vary in their placement within the state government structures. Some are housed within a criminal justice or general state planning or coordinating agency; some are part of a governor's advisory staff; and others are located in a line agency such as the state police, attorney general's office, or department of corrections. Several SACs are housed in universities. SACs also vary in their roles and activities; some concentrate on collecting and distributing specific criminal justice-related data sets, others are involved in active research on policy issues, and some have been instrumental in the design and implementation of various policies and automated information systems.
Nationally, the SACs are represented by the Justice Research and Statistics Association (JRSA), a private, nonprofit member organization that promotes the information sharing among the SACs and acts as a liaison between the state agencies and the Department of Justice. To locate the SAC in your state, visit the State Profiles section.
The SACs were established with support from BJS and its predecessor agency, the National Criminal Justice Information and Statistics Service (NCJISS) under the State-Level Statistical Analysis Centers and Information Network Program. BJS is specifically authorized by statute (42 U.S.C. 3732) to provide assistance in the development of State and local government justice information systems, and directed to give primary emphasis to the problems of State and local justice systems (42 U.S.C. 3731). Since 1972, this program has provided partial support to State governments for the establishment and operation of State-level Statistical Analysis Centers (SACs) to collect, analyze, and report statistics on crime and justice to Federal, State, and local levels of government, and to share State-level information nationally. BJS works in cooperation with the States through a network of SACs.
All awards are made as cooperative agreements and indicate the substantial involvement that BJS will have with each award. Activities in this program include:
Establishing and maintaining contacts with State criminal justice agencies, the courts, and local governments and their criminal justice agencies;
Collecting, analyzing, and publishing criminal justice data, including activities related to the analysis or evaluation of State efforts under the NCHIP;
Assisting criminal justice agencies in defining their needs for specific statistical and other information for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of criminal justice programs;
Providing technical assistance in the collection, interpretation, utilization, and sharing of statistical information;
Maintaining contact with BJS to ensure the efficient development and sharing of information with BJS, other States, and various users;
Informing BJS of the State's needs relative to statistical data;
Providing data to BJS for national compilations;
Conducting research for projects identified by BJS or by the applicant in consultation with BJS, usually about a topic of current or emerging national concern; and
Pursuant to BJS request, providing information and automated data to the Justice Research and Statistics Association (JRSA) or other designated recipients.
The one-pager, How SAA SAC Partnerships Enhance the Administration of Justice, discusses findings from a 2012 National Criminal Justice Surveys about their relationships with SACs in their state.
Locate Your SAC
Visit the State Profiles section to find contact information for the SAC in your state.