There were two sources of data used for this report—drug task force data including arrest data and qualitative data obtained through focus groups.
Drug task force data
Two sources of drug task force data were examined. The drug task forces’ quarterly data reports submitted to ICJIA as a grant requirement and drug arrest data derived from criminal history record information (CHRI) were used. CHRI were submitted by law enforcement agencies in those counties with drug task forces to the Illinois State at the time of arrest. Therefore, this report examines arrests made by both drug task forces and other law enforcement agencies.
ICJIA has established an in-house computer linkage to certain elements of the state’s Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) System through a cooperative agreement with the Illinois State Police. CHRI is the central repository for offenders’ arrest and conviction history. ICJIA is able to obtain arrests for specific charges and agencies. CHRI data were used to obtain drug task force arrests and then subtracted those arrests from comparable arrests in drug task force counties thereby creating drug arrest statistics for other law enforcement agencies.
ICJIA held two focus groups with a total of 19 participants. Focus groups are open-ended, group discussions guided by a moderator to obtain collective views on a topic. Focus groups allow for input from a number of individuals in a relatively short period of time. Participants were brought together and asked to speak about their experiences working in drug task forces. Participants were asked to provide informed consent to complete a brief survey and answer focus group questions. In order to document the experiences of focus group participants, the discussion was audio-recorded. Participants included representatives from all ICJIA-funded drug task forces (Table 1).
Illinois drug task forces participating in focus groups
Drug task force
Blackhawk Area TF
Carroll, Henry, Ogle, Whiteside
Central Illinois Enforcement Group
Cass, Christian, Macon, Menard, Morgan, Sangamon
East Central Illinois Enforcement
Coles, Douglas, Moultrie
Joliet Metropolitan Area Narcotics Squad
Lake County MEG
MEG of Southwestern Illinois
Madison, Monroe, St. Clair
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