Applying Social Science Data Tools to Criminal Justice Politics, Administration, and Research: The Case of Alabama
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Information from a variety of criminal justice and demographic sources can be merged to create a data file useful for a variety of audiences. Politicians, administrators, and academics would be beneficiaries of analyses performed as the result of completing a source of data outlined in this work. Current problems with administrative files are detailed to give perspective on the scope of work that can currently be performed and what is possible if inherent deficiencies in the files were modified. The determination of crimes as violent or not for administrative reasons is detailed to show discrepancies in the two most widely used definitions of violent crime in Alabama. Recently passed child sex offender legislation is analyzed to provide a backdrop for some of the drawbacks in the current system of housing pertinent data on offenders and victims in Alabama. A multivariate analysis reveals some of the impacts of specific variables on recidivism of inmates in the Alabama Department of Corrections. Offenders in the custody of the Alabama Department of Corrections as of October 31, 2004 were used for analyzing recidivism in the study. The population at this time was 26,179 inmates.