Publications


FSAC Fact Sheet Series
Spotlight on Motor Vehicle Theft: a brief analysis of Motor Vehicle Thefts in Florida, 2007 - 2017
September 2018

Focus on Youth Homicide Victims: a brief analysis of the Supplemental Homicide Reports, 2007 - 2017 with a synopsis of youth homicide victim information in Florida
August 2018

Arrest Trends by Gender: a brief analysis of adult arrests for Index Crimes by gender
July 2018

Florida Crime at a Glance, 1997 - 2017: a brief analysis of crime trends in Florida
June 2018


Crime Publications by Topic

Assessing Florida's Criminal History Improvement, 2003 - 2006: Using the Records Quality Index
December 2009

The Florida Statistical Analysis Center (FSAC) conducted a study of Florida’s criminal history records using the Records Quality Index (RQI) developed by Structured Decisions Corporation (SDC) for the Bureau of Justice Statistics. SDC applied specific techniques to examine the performance of state criminal history records systems using a set of outcome, timeliness, and completion measures for criminal history records over a period of time.  The FSAC used criminal history records for arrests that occurred between 2001 and 2006 to calculate Florida’s RQI for 2003 and, for comparison purposes, the RQI for 2006. As part of this project, the FSAC developed computer programs to automate portions of the RQI equation related to computation of the timeliness and completion of the records. The programs allow the FSAC to easily calculate the RQI for future years as well as modify the measures used to provide additional information about Florida’s criminal history records to policy makers.  

Applying a Crime Seriousness Scale to Measure Changes in the Severity of Offenses by Individuals Arrested in Florida

Published in Justice Research and Policy, Volume 6, Number 1, Spring 2004.
The complete article is available, upon request, courtesy of the Justice Research and Statistics Association.

Florida has experienced consistent and significant declines in total crime rates and violent crime rates since 1989; however, the perception among citizens, law enforcement, and the courts is that individuals are arrested today for committing more serious and violent crimes than in the past. Florida's Statistical Analysis Center analyzed Computerized Criminal History data on over eight million felony arrest events and almost three million arrestees from 1984 to 2002 to examine trends in offender seriousness to assess the legitimacy of these views. In addition to calculating individual arrest histories based on counts of arrest events, a seriousness scale was developed and applied to annual cohorts to capture a more accurate representation of the relative seriousness of individuals' police encounters over time. We found increases in the frequency of arrest events in individual careers but decreases in the seriousness and level of violence of arrestees’ crimes, especially over the past decade. Additionally, Florida’s change in punishment policy in 1994 from an indeterminate to a determinate, “get tough” approach was examined in relation to changes in arrestee seriousness. Recommendations are made for other states to replicate the methodologies and analysis reported here, and for further research to be conducted on the impact of changing punishment policies on the seriousness of individuals arrested.