Where do criminal justice data live in your state?
Criminal History Data
Nestled within the DOJ’s Division of Law Enforcement Services, the Crime Information Bureau (CIB) maintains the statewide criminal history repository. Law enforcement agencies, prosecutors offices, courts, and the DOC are required by statute to report detailed information on arrests, arrest charges, prosecution, court findings, sentences, and state correctional system admissions and releases. In addition to the CIB, the DOJ maintains the Wisconsin Justice Information Sharing (WIJIS) Justice Gateway, which allows select authorized justice professionals to search various criminal justice case management systems (e.g., the state-wide district attorney CMS, PROTECT) and request access to case information from the originating agency.
Overseen by the Director of State Courts, the Consolidated Court Automation Programs (CCAP) is utilized by circuit court clerks across each of Wisconsin’s 72 counties. The purpose of CCAP is to maintain “reliable necessary and useful data with appropriate uniformity”, while providing the Wisconsin Court System and the public access to information with the goal of promoting confidence in the Court System.
Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) collects individual-level data on all offenders in DOC custody, including those housed in adult institutions, juvenile corrections, and community corrections (probation, parole, and extended community supervision). The DOC’s Research and Policy Unit uses this data to generate reports which serve to inform policy decisions and correctional operations.
Other Known Data Sources
Wisconsin’s State Public Defender (SPD) collects information on clients represented by SPD staff attorneys. In some cases, private attorneys are appointed by the SPD and in these instances, the data will live with the assigned attorney, not the SPD. While SPD clients and the public can submit a public records request to the agency, most client records are confidential and not subject to public records laws. As such, the system isn’t designed for bulk data requests.
In addition to these consolidated criminal justice data systems, each county and city locality collects its own data to some extent. There are 72 sheriffs in Wisconsin, overseeing the local jail in each county and collecting information related to bookings. The format, quality, and accessibility of this local jail data varies by jurisdiction. Additionally, there are 71 district attorneys across Wisconsin (one per county, with the exception of Shawano and Menominee counties, which are combined) each maintaining their own case information. As of 2008, there are 429 local police departments that employ at least one full-time officer, each collecting its own arrest data to some extent. As required by statute, these data are reported to the CIB and maintained in the statewide criminal history repository.