Where do criminal justice data live in your state?
Criminal History Data
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division is the department responsible for housing the state’s repository of criminal history information. This data is submitted to the CJIS via the Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System (TIBRS). The CJIS uses statistical data to create annual reports designed to capture crime trends and patterns and makes them publicly available online.
In Tennessee, Circuit Courts are trial courts of general jurisdiction, hearing both criminal and civil cases, as well as appeals from Juvenile, Municipal, and General Sessions Courts. There are 31 Circuit Courts, each representing a judicial district. In addition, judicial districts have Chancery Courts, as well as Criminal Courts and Probate Courts where legislatively established. Circuit Court clerks are elected county officials, responsible for collecting and maintaining case information for their respective jurisdictions. While there is not currently a centralized case management utilized by all courts, each Circuit and Chancery Court clerk is required to report certain case statistics to the Tennessee Judicial Council on a monthly basis. The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) staff, acting on behalf of the Judicial Council, then compiles this information and makes the statistical reports publicly available online.
The Tennessee Department of Corrections (TDOC) collects and maintains information on all adults sentenced to TDOC custody, which includes 14 state prisons as well as community supervision (in the form of probation, parole, determinate release, or community corrections programs). This individual-level data is housed in the Department’s electronic database known as the Tennessee Offender Management Information System (TOMIS). TDOC makes several annual and monthly statistical reports available to the public, including correctional population reports.
Other Known Data Sources
In Tennessee prosecutors are known as District Attorneys General and are divided among the 31 judicial districts. To MFJ’s knowledge, each office maintains its own case information and there is no known consolidated source of prosecutorial data in Tennessee. At the county level, each of the state’s 95 counties are represented by an elected sheriff charged with managing the county jail. Each facility maintains its own booking information and there is no known centralization of jail data for Tennessee. At the local level, Tennessee has town and city jails, which are managed by police departments. As of 2008, there were 251 local police departments throughout Tennessee that employ at least one full-time officer. In addition to managing local jail data, each department collects and maintains its own arrest data to some extent.