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Assessing Florida's Criminal Justice Improvement, 2003 and 2006: Using the Records Quality Index

NCJ Number
Susan Burton; Debra Livingston; Jessica Andrews; Cindy Durrett
Date Published
21 pages
This study of Florida's criminal history records used the Records Quality Index (RQI), which measures the performance of criminal history records systems over time, in order to determine any improvements that may have occurred between 2003 and 2006.
Florida's RQI increased from 109 in 2003 to 125 in 2006. This substantial 16-point increase is attributed primarily to improvements in the timeliness of record information coming into the State's criminal history repository. Although the average time between arrest and disposition increased in 2006, normalizing the data caused a decline in the timeliness factor from 337 days to 317 days. Record completeness, however, has not improved from 2003 to 2006. The State's percentage of dispositions that were complete by the end of the 3-year period was down slightly in 2006 (47 percent) from 2003 (49 percent). This report by the Florida Statistical Analysis Center (FSAC) recommends that a modified RQI should be considered for use in addressing specific types or categories of crime. Crimes can be examined by charge level (felony or misdemeanor), by the seriousness of the crime (violent, property, or drugs), or by other categories of interest to policymakers. Florida's Computerized Criminal History (CCH) files allow for the separation of adult and juvenile records for quality measures. The submission of juvenile dispositions was optional until July 2008, at which time the clerks of court were required to provide juvenile dispositions. A measure that makes a distinction between adult and juvenile records may be more practical for Florida. In addition, the FSAC recommends the exclusion from CCH files arrest records that will never receive dispositions due to the nature of the arrest. Recording these arrests in a separate file from the CCH will allow them to be examined for an examination of those arrests with a view toward improving arrest procedures. 14 figures and appended supplementary information