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Agency report
Tracking crime: analyzing Minnesota criminal history records

Extent: 31p., 121K, PDF 3.0
Description: Describes problems and improvements in Minnesota’s criminal history records system by examining four categories of selected offenses from 1992 to 1996
Date: September 1, 1998
Subject(s): Crime and criminals; Arrest; Criminal justice information systems; Criminal justice records; Criminal statistics; Computers
Creator(s): Minnesota Planning (Agency). Criminal Justice Statistics Center
Contributor: Ray Lewis
Publisher: Minnesota Planning (Agency).
Contact: Gail Carlson,

The Computerized Criminal History Records database at the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is Minnesota’s central repository of individual criminal history records linking arrest, prosecution, court and corrections data on individual offenders. This centralization allows for the sharing of critical information across jurisdictions and components of the criminal justice system. Since this online database is designed to receive, store and provide individual criminal history records, it is constantly changing and thus does not readily lend itself to research and policy analysis across groups of offenses or jurisdictions, or over time.

The Criminal Justice Center at Minnesota Planning developed a process for downloading information from the Computerized Criminal History Records database and structuring it into a new database usable for research and analysis. The report describes the analysis of this data demonstrating a variety of purposes, including describing outcomes and variations among particular groups of offenders by race or gender, tracking cases as they move from one component of the criminal justice system to the next, measuring the time between events to assess the efficiency of the system and studying the effects of legislative and policy changes on sentencing and incarceration patterns.

The analysis presented in Tracking Crime: Analyzing Minnesota Criminal History Records creates a picture of the processing of some offenders through the state's criminal justice system between 1992 and 1996. Four categories of criminal offenses were examined: domestic abuse, firearm and weapon offenses, criminal sexual conduct and abuse of vulnerable adults and child abuse

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