The Justice Innovation Center: Identifying the Needs and Challenges of Criminal Justice Agencies in Small, Rural, Tribal, and Border Areas
Nov 16, 2016
Given the potential for technology to improve the work of small, rural, tribal, and border (SRTB) criminal justice agencies, collecting information on how technology is used would enable a better understanding of how to provide support to these agencies. This report describes a feasibility study to establish a survey panel of SRTB agency representatives, which would enable policymakers to collect information on priorities and challenges.
Given the potential for technology to improve the work and outcomes of small, rural, tribal, and border (SRTB) criminal justice agencies, the collection of information on how technology is currently used in the field would enable a better understanding of how best to provide support to these agencies. This report describes a feasibility study conducted by the Justice Innovation Center (JIC) to establish a survey panel of SRTB criminal justice agency representatives. The JIC survey panel would send out a short questionnaire each month to representatives to collect rapid feedback about what technology is being used in the field, how and why it was selected, the challenges and barriers departments face when using it, and where it is viewed as effective.
Such a panel would enable researchers and policymakers to rapidly solicit practitioners' views on various topics of interest and thus collect up-to-date information on priorities and challenges in the field.
To determine whether this idea is feasible, the JIC conducted several tasks across multiple phases. First, we used a convenience sample of agencies that we had interviewed for a previous assessment of SRTB technology needs to conduct a few months of surveys. Next, we developed and tested an online platform to collect and analyze data. Finally, we conducted an experiment to compare different recruitment methods to inform our future panel enrollment efforts. This report summarizes each of these research activities and provides an assessment of future directions for a survey panel.
Defining Our Target Population
Email Survey of a Convenience Sample
Web-Based Survey of a Convenience Sample
Test of Varied Recruitment Methods
Strategies Used to Improve Response Rates in National Panel Surveys
Results from the Email and Web-Based Surveys