North Dakota - - Where do criminal justice data live in your state?

North Dakota

In North Dakota, access to criminal justice information varies depending on the type of data sought: court records are publicly available in bulk; corrections records are subject to agency approval; and criminal history information is not accessible for public inspection or research purposes.

Where do criminal justice data live in your state?

Criminal History Data

Overseen by the Attorney General’s office, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) maintains North Dakota’s repository of criminal history records. The BCI dataset includes information on arrests and prosecutions of individuals, submitted by local law enforcement, prosecutors, the courts, and parole and probation. Requests for access to individual records may be submitted by members of law enforcement, the courts, as well as the general public. Additionally, the BCI makes available several annual reports and statistics including various aggregated crime data. The Attorney General’s Criminal Justice Information Sharing Division also oversees the state automated reporting system, STARS, designed for authorized criminal justice practitioners to facilitate data sharing within the state. Each agency and its respectful city or county government must enter into a data-sharing agreement before accessing the system.

Court Data

In each of North Dakota’s 53 counties, district courts have exclusive jurisdiction over criminal cases and general jurisdiction over civil cases. This district court case information, covering criminal, traffic, and civil case types, is housed in a centralized database overseen by the North Dakota State Court Administrator (SCA). While not required, several municipal courts also utilize the centralized CMS, and their data is also stored centrally.

Corrections Data

The North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DOCR) maintains data on individuals admitted to the state correctional system. This includes information on people booked into prison, as well as those supervised via probation and parole. While historically this information hasn’t been easily accessible, in 2019 the DOCR partnered with Recidivz to kick off a new data collection system. This initiative creates automated feeds, pulling together information from once fragmented datasets, and creating an accessible dashboard accessible by members of the state’s corrections leadership.

Other Known Data Sources

In addition to these consolidated criminal justice data systems, each local city- or county-level criminal justice agency maintains its own data. Each of North Dakota’s 53 counties is represented by a sheriff as well as a State’s Attorney, each collecting its own case information. While there is no known centralization of this information outside of the STARS system, State’s Attorneys are provided with case management software via JustWare at no cost. As of 2008, there are 54 local police departments throughout North Dakota, each employing at least one full-time officer and collecting its own arrest data to some extent.
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