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Dingell Announces Nearly $500,000 for University of Michigan’s New Local Jail Reporting Program

DEARBORN, MI - Today, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) announced nearly $500,000 in federal grant funding from the Department of Justice to the University of Michigan for a Local Jail Reporting Program pilot test. The Program, managed by the Criminal Justice Administrative Records System (CJARS) at the University of Michigan, would collect person-level data from the 30 largest jails in the United States to advance opportunities for statistical reporting and research across the criminal justice system.

“Currently, records for local jails are spread across thousands of facilities nationwide – leading to significant barriers to accurate and detailed research on our criminal justice system and the individuals within it,” said Dingell. “This federal funding for the Local Jail Reporting Program pilot at the University of Michigan would address this challenge by improving data management and collecting more specific data to help us better understand the criminal justice system and how we can fix it.”

“The Local Jail Reporting Program pilot will play a critical role in expanding data coverage and measurement of jails and pre-trial detention in the United States,” said Michael Mueller-Smith, Criminal Justice Administrative Records System (CJARS) director and assistant professor of economics at the University of Michigan. “Millions of Americans are detained and incarcerated in jails each year, yet the decentralized nature of the justice system limits the nation’s ability to track the jail caseload and measure the future outcomes of detained individuals. This project will help modernize the data infrastructure and research capacity used to study the U.S. justice system and will provide crucial insight into how the criminal justice system functions.”

To learn more about the CJARS program at the University of Michigan and to keep up with the Local Jail Reporting Program pilot, please click here.


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