4500.0 - Crime and Justice News, Oct 2001  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/10/2001   
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National Criminal Justice Statistical Framework

July 2001 saw the release of the National Criminal Justice Statistical Framework (NCJSF).

The Framework provides a structure for organising, collecting and reporting data about crime and the criminal justice system. It builds connections across the main sectors of the criminal justice system by modelling it in a way that transcends the data requirements and usages of individual sectors. The Framework therefore models how criminal justice data should be structured rather than how these data currently are structured within the various administrative data systems used by criminal justice agencies.

The primary purpose of the NCJSF is to identify the key counting units and data variables in the criminal justice system that would allow stakeholders to characterise the main aspects of that system. The strategic objectives that follow from this purpose include:

    1. Integrating criminal justice data between the different, interconnecting sectors of the criminal justice system.
    2. Integrating criminal justice data across the States and Territories of Australia and other geographical regions.
    3. Facilitating discussions between the ABS and its clients on the relative priorities for future development of criminal justice data collections.
    4. Promoting the adoption of standardised methods of collecting, compiling and disseminating criminal justice statistics.

A key strategic objective of the ABS and its National Statistical Service is to promote and support good statistical and data management practices. This includes the development and use of standards within the statistical holdings of other government agencies in the interests of promoting a more unified body of national statistical information and avoiding duplication of effort in their administrative data collections.

The development of the Framework arose from the need to develop comprehensive and integrated national criminal justice data. By laying the foundations for better integration of criminal justice data, the Framework will facilitate addressing key issues and questions in the field. It will also encourage increased comparability of data both within and between jurisdictions and will assist in establishing priorities for the future development of criminal justice data collections.

The NCJSF paper has been circulated to some of the NCCJS' key stakeholders, in particular the Boards of Management, the Advisory Groups and practitioner groups. While the NCCJS will not be conducting another round of consultation, we are seeking feedback on any issues to be used in a review of the paper in the future.

The National Criminal Justice Statistical Framework is also posted on the ABS web site to allow for wider dissemination and to illustrate to our users some of the directions in which the Centre is heading.

If you have any questions about the Framework, please contact Dr Karen Gelb at karen.gelb@abs.gov.au.