We have been focusing on the development of reports for courts to inform them about their race/ethnicity data and provide information about best practices in data collection.
1. PROBLEM: Upon a closer review of the JIS data, it was discovered that our coding system does not match the federal policy in separating Asian and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander into two categories - JIS currently combines them into one (code A).
3. PROBLEM: Ethnicity is a read-only field for users in superior or CLJ courts. Only the juvenile court users are able to update the ethnicity field. Even if courts were to adopt the proposed
a. Proposed Solution: We propose that ethnicity be an updatable field for court users at all levels.
4. PROBLEM: According to OFM race and ethnicity data, the percentage of youth identifying as Mixed Race (more than one race category) is increasing. OFM population data has a separate designation for Mixed race, but JIS does not. Clerks have contacted Research to request that a Mixed option be added.
a. Proposed Solution: We propose that "Mixed" (or "Multiple") be added as a choice (code M) in the Race field.
5. PROBLEM: Race and ethnicity are often volatile topics due to the emotion attached to such a designation, and there are cases where a person chooses not to self-identify. With the expectation that courts are engaging in regular data reviews and could correct such designations, it is preferable to have a code added (R – Refused) to designate a refusal to choose. In research, data is far more reliable if there is a clear refusal than a simple unknown – that way data analysts know how much data is known/refused vs actually unknown.
a. Proposed Solution: We propose to add a code R for "Refused" to both the race and ethnicity fields in addition to the currently existing U for "Unknown".
Ultimately, we would hope that the codes would follow the pattern below:
· American Indian/Alaska Native (I)
· Asian (A)
· Black/African American (B)
· White/Caucasian (W)
· Unknown (U)
· NEW! Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (P)
· POSSIBLE! Select All That Apply (Option A) or Multiple (M) (Option B)
· NEW! Refused (R)
· Hispanic (H)
· Non-Hispanic (N)
· Unknown (U)
· NEW! Refused (R)
Once these changes are approved and implemented, staff from Research will work with Court Education to develop a webinar-style tutorial that can be recorded and shared with front-line staff. In addition, Research staff are working with Information Access to develop a set of exception reports in BOXI to address incorrect race and ethnicity combinations, as well as a best practice "answer" in RightNow.
a. Proposed Solution: We propose that ethnicity be a required field in JIS. The existing JIS business process for coding H in the race field as Unknown Race, Hispanic Ethnicity is consistent with national best practices. However, for other racial groups, there should be an ethnicity designation of Hispanic or Non-Hispanic, therefore ethnicity must be required.
2. PROBLEM: The JIS codebook lists Hispanic as an option under the race category. Although there is a JIS business process for recoding Hispanic as an ethnicity from the race category, reviews demonstrate large percentages of unknown ethnicity data which cause problems in interpretation of results, making it impossible to be sure that the court data accurately represents the extent of the overrepresentation.
a. Proposed Solution: We propose that the JIS coding system should be changed to separate the groups currently combined as noted above to bring the JIS system into compliance with Federal standards. This change would, of necessity, occur from the date of change-implementation forward, with no expectation of conversion of legacy data. Courts would have the option to review and correct their own data.