The Statistical Analysis Center is part of a nationwide affiliation of statistical centers sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Additionally, the SAC also is a member of the Justice Research and Statistics Association, leading to greater and more effective collaboration. Created in 1975 by Governor's Executive Order, the SAC is housed within the Department of Public Safety, Missouri State Highway Patrol, and assigned to the Research and Development Division. To ensure that interests of other major components of the Executive Branch of government are taken into consideration, letters of agreement were enacted between the MSHP and Office of Attorney General, Department of Revenue, Department of Corrections, and Department of Social Services.
Primary Goals - The primary goal of the Statistical Analysis Center is to provide traffic safety and criminal justice statistics to federal, state, and local authorities, public policymakers, and the general public. The SAC also provides technical support through evaluation studies and research initiatives.
Operational Goals - To attain its overall goal as it relates to research and information services, the SAC has set a series of operational goals:
- Promote design, development, implementation, and maintenance of criminal justice and traffic safety information and statistical systems in the State.
- Provide objective interpretative analysis of criminal justice and traffic safety data.
- Generate statistical reports on Missouri's traffic crash and crime instances.
- Provide and coordinate technical assistance in statistical aspects of Missouri's criminal justice and traffic safety systems.
- Upgrade the overall capability of criminal justice agencies to statistically analyze data.
- Conduct and promote criminal justice and traffic safety research.
The SAC has been directed to organize plans and programs to achieve the following:
- Produce a series of standardized reports for criminal justice and traffic safety authorities and policymakers describing Missouri's crime problems and crash experiences as well as resources and processes currently being employed to address them.
- Conduct long-term and ad-hoc research studies designed to identify problem areas associated with crime, the criminal justice system, and traffic safety. These studies can encompass the entire State or be regional in nature. Their intent is to address specific concerns of federal, state, and local policymakers associated with criminal justice and traffic safety.
- Conduct research studies designed to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of various criminal justice and traffic safety programs at the State or regional level.
- Develop computer applications for collection and dissemination of criminal justice and traffic safety data and reports.
- Assist in development of statistical and analytical skills of personnel associated with Missouri's criminal justice and traffic safety planning and management community.
- Assist and promote implementation of criminal justice empirical and theoretical research to gain knowledge of crime problems facing society.
The SAC is organizationally placed in the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) - Research and Development Division. The SAC consists of a director and research analyst, both supported by state funds. The SAC also receives technical assistance from the MSHP Information and Communications Technology Division. Through the support of the MSHP, the SAC members organically develop new research capabilities in order to enhance understanding of Missouri’s crime and traffic issues.
Statistical research funds are received from criminal justice and traffic safety grants. The U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics provides the SAC with grant support for criminal justice research. Traffic safety research is supported by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration grants administered by the Missouri Department of Transportation, Department of Traffic and Highway Safety Division. Research regarding Missouri’s drug task forces is funded under a Justice Assistance Grant Program administered by the DPS.