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Use of crime and criminal justice statistics at the national and international level Steven Malby Research Officer Statistics and Surveys Section.

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Presentation on theme: "Use of crime and criminal justice statistics at the national and international level Steven Malby Research Officer Statistics and Surveys Section."— Presentation transcript:

1 Use of crime and criminal justice statistics at the national and international level Steven Malby Research Officer Statistics and Surveys Section

2 Purpose of crime and criminal justice statistics Statistics on crime and criminal justice help governments to assess and monitor:  the conditions, circumstances and trends of well-being  social impact of public expenditures and policies “The collection of reliable and comprehensive statistics is of immense importance to everyone involved with criminal justice, especially to the criminal justice administrator.” However, it is only when raw information is transformed through purposeful collection and organization into statistical form that individual records provide valuable information for criminal justice decision making.

3 Purpose of crime and criminal justice statistics  Analysis of crime levels and perceptions and experiences of public safety for policy making Prosecutors may benefit from knowledge of police-recorded crime, including information on numbers of persons suspected, arrested or cautioned  Monitoring and evaluation of the impact of crime prevention strategies Prosecutors may have access to detailed case information not available at the law-enforcement level. Comparisons may be made between different provincial/district prosecutor offices and between sub-categories of suspects, including children, women, and citizens of other countries  Decisions on allocation of resources  Assessment of the workload and operation of criminal justice system components and of their efficiency and effectiveness Prosecutors may benefit from analysis of case data at different levels of the criminal justice system in order to assess the effectiveness of their work

4 Sources of crime and criminal justice statistics  Administrative statistics (police, prosecution, courts, prisons)  Victimization surveys (households, women, businesses)  Self-report studies (juveniles, prisoners)  Ad-hoc studies on specific types of crime, such as organized crime, trafficking in persons) DefinitionCounting Unit Institution Number of crimes recordedIncidentsLaw enforcement Number of persons arrestedPersonsLaw enforcement Number of persons prosecutedPersonsProsecution Number of persons convictedPersonsCourts Number of persons detainedPersonsPrisons Distribution of responsibility may vary depending upon the specific national criminal justice system

5 From operational systems to statistical systems Detention Prosecution Courts Police Case file Court file Logs/prison files Central Police Command Attorney General High Court Ministry of Justice/Interior * System represents a generic example criminal justice system and does not correspond to that of any individual country.

6 Data collection by the United Nations The United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (UN-CTS)  Tenth UN-CTS covered the period 2005-2006  Consists of four parts – Police, Prosecution, Courts and Prisons  Each part completed by the relevant institution

7 Responses to the UN-CTS

8 Responses to the Tenth UN-CTS, by part Number of respondents by PartPercent of numerical items completed

9 Analysis of UN-CTS data  Cross-national analysis of data presents a number of challenges, including different national case recording/counting rules, different crime definitions and different criminal justice system crime ‘priorities’  UNODC attempts to address these challenges through provision of metadata that assists users in establishing data quality and comparability across time and countries Selected data reviewed for:  Consistency of responses with previous CTS waves (trend analysis)  Internal consistency of responses within Tenth CTS  Consistency of response with other known crime statistics sources

10 Dissemination and analysis of UN-CTS data Data from Tenth CTS presented in two formats at  Values and rates annotated with extended UNODC metadata for selected variables (to date – police-recorded homicide)  Values and rates for all CTS variables reproduced as received, including prosecution data

11 What can the data tell us? Trends in selected categories of police-recorded conventional crime, 1995-2006 Same set of countries across time series Crime rates ‘normalized’ to base of ‘100’ in order to display trend only Crime types that show significant variation in definition (such as assault) not included in analysis

12 Attrition analysis of homicide in the UN-CTS UN-CTS attrition data does not represent the same cohort of cases and is challenging to analyse due to differences in national systems Prosecutors may play different roles in case initiation and subsequent case recording ‘Backlogs’ may affect ratios between different parts of the system although, to some extent, this is corrected for by use of an average over time

13 Measuring criminal justice system performance?  Careful combination of victimization survey and administrative statistics may allow analysis of criminal justice system ‘attrition’ rates for selected crimes  Other measures require the capacity to follow a ‘cohort’ of cases, rather than attrition analysis at the macro level  This may represent a challenge where different components of the criminal justice system adopt different approaches to case recording, particularly in light of different prosecutorial roles Data may be obtained from prosecution or court depending upon nature of national criminal justice system

14 UNODC research and use of cross-national prosecution data under UNSCR 1244

15 Future directions  UNODC Expert Group Meeting in January 2009 recommended that, in order to enhance knowledge of thematic and cross-sectoral trends in specific crime issues: The UN-CTS questionnaire should be revised in order to improve response rate, produce more timely data and to minimize the reporting burden and complexity for Member States This should be achieved through a reduced questionnaire containing a core set of questions with annual periodicity, together with an ad-hoc thematic module which would change every year A network of national contact points for crime and criminal justice statistics should be established. The network should include contact points in national statistical offices, law enforcement, prosecution, courts and national penal administrations

16 Conclusions  Crime and criminal justice data from the system as a whole may be important to prosecutors for reasons of policy analysis, assessment of effectiveness, and workload management  Data at the prosecution level is important both for analysis of criminal justice system performance and providing disaggregated data (eg. final classification of criminal offence or details of nature of the offence) that may not be available at the law-enforcement level  The UN-CTS focuses both on crime and operation of criminal justice systems. Prosecution data is crucial to a full understanding of the response of society to different forms of crime  Appointment of focal points within national offices of the prosecutor will be key to effective reporting of data at the international level

17 Thank you for your attention Statistics and Surveys Section Policy Analysis and Research Branch

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