Vera Institute of Justice
Interested in learning more about the development, launch, purpose, and initial findings of Arrest Trends? Check out Vera’s launch report, “Every Three Seconds: Unlocking Police Data on Arrests.”
Redefining Public Safety Program
Vera Institute of Justice Redefining Public Safety Program: The goal of Vera’s Redefining Public Safety Program is to shrink the footprint of American policing and advance racial equity. We provide data and tools in support of grassroots and community-led movements and blueprint approaches that prioritize community needs. We approach our work by focusing on areas in which disparities exist, making enforcement data widely accessible, and uplifting community-based solutions. Visit our website to learn more about other current projects or to access our program’s overview page, describing the program’s overarching priorities and approach.
Arrest Trends Project Page: To learn more about the future of Vera’s Arrest Trends work and to find downloadable versions of related reports, check out the Arrest Trends project page.
Incarceration Trends: This Vera tool can be used for reference by justice system stakeholders and others looking to understand how their county uses jail and prison incarceration, and how it compares to others over time.
Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
Arrests Calculator: This tool allows users to generate tables and graphs of estimated national arrest volumes and reported agency arrest volumes. The data spans from 1980 to 2016 and can be parsed by age, sex, race, and offense type.
NVAT: The National Crime Victimization Survey Analysis Tool allows users to examine estimated victimization volumes generated from national survey data. Data spans from 1993 to 2016 and can be parsed by region, offense type, and whether the experience was reported to the police. Data from NVAT is featured in Arrest Trends.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Crime Data Explorer: This interactive tool allows users to view up-to-date estimated (at the national and state levels) and reported (at the agency level) UCR and NIBRS crime data. Data spans from 1995 to 2016 and can be parsed by offender and victim age, sex, race, ethnicity, and offense type. Users can also download bulk datasets.
Crime in the United States: Each year, the FBI publishes a series of tables and reports on aggregate UCR data. Annual tables on the following topics are of particular relevance to policy enforcement and arrests: persons arrested, arrests for drug abuse violations, clearances, and offenses known to law enforcement. Data from several of these tables are featured in Arrest Trends.
ICPSR: The University of Michigan’s Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research archives detailed UCR data series, including UCR arrests by age, sex, and race; UCR offenses known and clearances by arrest; UCR county-level detailed arrest and offense data; and law enforcement agency identifiers crosswalk. Data from each of these series is featured in Arrest Trends.
U.S. Census Bureau and Corresponding Departments
American Community Survey five-year estimates: This resource provides demographic data at a county level on economic and societal trends, including but not limited to: unemployment, poverty, percent of the population with health insurance, household income, and access to computers and the internet.
National Center for Health Statistics’ Bridged-Race Population Estimates: This resource provides census population estimate data, parsed by age, sex, race, and ethnicity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention make this data available from 1990 to 2018; Woods and Poole Economics houses this data from 1969 to 1990.
Advocacy for Open Data
Local advocacy for open data is a powerful means of obtaining information and engaging with local power structures to work towards community empowerment, transparency, and accountability. Law enforcement agencies often do not realize the importance of data transparency in building trust with the communities they are supposed to serve. If your local law enforcement agency has neglected to report their arrest data to the FBI, or reports their data but has neglected to include demographic breakdowns that matter to you, we encourage you to reach out and express your passion for this issue. Contact your local law enforcement agency to advocate for open arrest data using this template.
Dear <law enforcement agency>,
<My name is ____, and> I am a concerned constituent in your jurisdiction. It has come to my attention after using the Vera Institute of Justice’s Arrest Trends tool that your agency does not report <any, complete, race, ethnicity> arrest data to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program. This program, as with many other open data initiatives, is an important measure of transparency and accountability.
< Personal narrative: Personally, this data would allow me to... >.
I urge you to report this data to the public through the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting protocol or through other means. I would love to talk more with you about why open data is important for our community to build trust with our police force. You can reach me at ____.
A concerned citizen/your name
Know of another useful resource that should be spotlighted here? Email it, along with a brief description, to ArrestTrends@vera.org.