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What are Statistical Analysis Centers?

Statistical Analysis Centers (SAC) are units or agencies at the state government level that use operational, management, and research information from all components of the criminal justice system to conduct objective analyses of statewide and system wide policy issues. Currently, there are SACs in 53 states and territories. The SACs vary in their placement within the state government structures. Some are within a criminal justice or general state planning or coordinating agency; some are part of a governor's advisory staff; and others are located in a line agency such as the state police, attorney general's office, or department of corrections. There are several housed in universities.

This diversity is also reflected in the SACs roles and activities in their respective states. Some of the SACs concentrate on collecting and distributing specific criminal justice-related data sets, others are involved in active research on policy issues, and some have been instrumental in the design and implementation of various policies and automated information systems. The Justice Research and Statistics Association (JRSA) biannually compiles the SAC Publication Digest and maintains the Infobase of State Activities and Research (ISAR), which catalogs SAC activities.