A variety of data are collected for every crime incident reported to law enforcement. These data include the nature and types of specific offenses in the incident, characteristics of the victim(s) and offender(s), types and value of property stolen and recovered, and characteristics of persons arrested in connection with a crime incident. Incident-based data provide an extremely large amount of information about crime. This information, organized in complex ways, reflects the many different aspects of a crime incident. (source National Archive of Criminal Justice Data)
LIBRS (the acronym for Louisiana Incident-Based Reporting System) is Louisiana’s incident-based reporting system, and is intended to serve several functions. First and most importantly, it is the designated state program for sending NIBRS information to the FBI. Additionally, in accordance with the intended direction of the FBI, LIBRS will eventually replace Summary UCR as the base statistical system for crime data in the state. It will also provide the additional statistical information necessary at the state level to properly plan modifications to the state criminal justice system. Examples of this include, determining the need for additional state prison or local jail space, and the need for additional law enforcement officers. Finally, it will be an important component in determining the impact of proposed changes in terms of both cost and programmatic effect.
LIBRS is a critical element as part of a larger effort to improve criminal justice records at the local level where it serves to both standardize the information collected at point of incident and point of arrest, and to create standards for the electronic transfer of law enforcement data statewide. It is through its role in the improvement of criminal justice records at the local level that LIBRS provides the basis for the state level Criminal History Improvement Program.
There are currently several Record Management Systems (RMS) available commercially that are certified to submit LIBRS data, and many Louisiana agencies are already collecting data necessary for reporting to LIBRS using these packages. However, since there are some agencies that do not have law enforcement RMS software, LCLE and the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association have developed fully-supported software (LEMIS-IBR) available to all Louisiana law enforcement agencies at no cost. (source Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Criminal Justice)
The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, of which NIBRS is a part, operates all levels of law enforcement: city, county, state, and federal. The program provides a nationwide view of crime based on the submission of crime information by law enforcement agencies throughout the country. The crime data from local and state jurisdictions are submitted either through a state UCR Program or directly to the national UCR Program, which is administered by the FBI. In Louisiana, data can be submitted directly to the FBI, or through the state program developed and administered by the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement (LCLE) and the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association (LSA). Since the 1930s, the data have been used in law enforcement administration, operation, and management, as well as to indicate the levels and nature of crime in the United States.
Throughout its first 60 years of operation, the UCR Program remained virtually unchanged in terms of the data collected and disseminated – data primarily aggregated in summary format. As time progressed, a broad utility evolved for UCR data, and law enforcement expanded its capabilities to supply crime information. In the late 1970s, the law enforcement community called for a thorough evaluative study of UCR with the objective of recommending an expanded and enhanced UCR Program to meet law enforcement needs into the 21st century. Following a multiyear study, a “Blueprint for the Future of the Uniform Crime Reporting Program” was developed. Using the “Blueprint” and in consultation with local and state law enforcement executives, new guidelines for Uniform Crime Reports were formulated. The National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) was implemented to meet these guidelines.
NIBRS offers law enforcement more comprehensive data than ever before available for management, training, planning, and research. The implementation of NIBRS will be at a pace commensurate with the resources, abilities, and limitations of the contributing law enforcement agencies. While NIBRS is being fully implemented, the traditional Summary UCR reporting format is still being used extensively. (source National Archive of Criminal Justice Data)
Incident Based Reporting Systems (LIBRS) collect much more detailed information than the traditional summary Uniform Crime Reporting system. In LIBRS, agencies collect information on many more types of crimes and can differentiate between attempted and completed offenses.
In UCR, the “Hierarchy Rule” governs reporting for multiple offenses. If more than one crime was committed within the same time interval by the same person, then the only crime reported is the highest in the hierarchy of offenses. In LIBRS, this rule is not used; all crimes would be recorded as offenses within the same incident.
In addition, UCR has two crime categories: Crimes Against Persons and Crimes Against Property, whereas LIBRS has a third category: Crimes Against Society. LIBRS also collects more comprehensive data than UCR about drug offenses.
The benefits of participating in the NIBRS program are:
- NIBRS can furnish information on nearly every major criminal justice issue facing law enforcement today, including terrorism, white collar crime, weapons offenses, missing children where criminality is involved, drug/narcotics offenses, drug involvement in all offenses, hate crimes, spousal abuse, abuse of the elderly, child abuse, domestic violence, juvenile crime/gangs, parental abduction, organized crime, pornography/child pornography, driving under the influence, and alcohol-related offenses
- Using the NIBRS, legislators, municipal planners/administrators, academicians, sociologists, and the public will have access to more comprehensive crime information than the summary reporting can provide
- The NIBRS produces more detailed, accurate, and meaningful data than the traditional summary reporting. Armed with such information, law enforcement can better make a case to acquire the resources needed to fight crime
- The NIBRS enables agencies to find similarities in crime-fighting problems so that agencies can work together to develop solutions or discover strategies for addressing the issues
- Full participation in the NIBRS provides statistics to enable a law enforcement agency to provide a full accounting of the status of public safety within the jurisdiction to the police commissioner, police chief, sheriff, or director. (source Federal Bureau of Investigation)
LEMIS is a Record Management System (RMS) that is currently installed in over seventy-five law enforcement agencies in Louisiana. LEMIS helps individual agencies manage their workload of complaints, incidents, citations, warrants, tickets and property.
LIBRS is a statewide system that accepts criminal justice data from individual law enforcement agencies from around Louisiana, and stores that data in a central database administered by the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association and the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Criminal Justice. LIBRS uses the database to create reports required by the FBI, thereby saving participating agencies the time and expense of computing these reports.
The software needed to submit criminal justice data to LIBRS is already contained in commercially available RMS software packages currently used by many law enforcement agencies throughout Louisiana. Generally there is no additional cost associated with using the LIBRS component of these RMS packages.
A growing number of Record Management Systems (RMS) now have the capability to interface with LIBRS, including: LEMIS, ARMMS, HTE, New World and Zuercher Technologies.
Agencies should be aware that NIBRS and LIBRS are very different data specifications and buying a NIBRS compliant RMS does not necessarily mean that the agency will be able to submit LIBRS data. Data sets created by the RMS must meet the LIBRS specifications.
Yes, each victim must be connected to an offense. If your offense is a crime against a Person or a Robbery offense that has an “I” (individual) for the victim type, you must be sure that the number of offenses match the number of victims in that incident. Even if there is only one offense committed in an incident and there is more than one victim, you must add the number of offense records it takes to equal the number of victims in that incident.
If the offense is a crime against Society, society must be the only victim. Even if you have more than one offense that is a crime against society in one incident you still only need one victim of society. You will need to connect all your society offenses to that one society victim. NOTE: When society is the victim all that needs to be entered on the Victim Screen is the Victim Type “SOC” (Society). If you have an incident that has offenses that are against Society, Person, and or Robbery (with a victim type of individual), be sure that your Society offense or offenses are connected to your one society victim and the other offense or offenses are connected to the other victim or victims.
If you have an offense that is a crime against Society you CANNOT have a victim/suspect relationship. A victim/suspect relationship is only needed when you have a “Crime against a Person” or a Robbery (where the victim is an individual). Each victim in an incident must be related to each suspect by the closest known relationship. If the suspect is unknown, then the victim suspect relationship must also be “RU” Relationship Unknown. If the victim is also the suspect then you must have a victim/suspect relationship for each victim of “VO” Victim was Offender. Example: If you have a situation were there was a fight, and there were more that 2 victims involved, and everyone involved were arrested, all involved would be considered victims and suspects. When you are entering into the victim/suspect relationship screen, you would list all the suspects involved and how they relate to that victim and you would also list that victim and relate that victim to his or herself as “VO” Victim was Offender. The same would be true if you have a Domestic Violence situation. Both spouses are engaging in an altercation and both are arrested, they both would be considered victims and both considered suspects. On the Victim/Suspect relationship screen one spouse would be listed as the victim of the other spouse and related as “SE” Spouse. For that same victim you would also list them as a suspect and relate them to his or herself, as “VO” Victim was Offender. Then for the other spouse you would list the first spouse as the suspect to this spouse and relate them as “SE” Spouse. For this same victim you would also list them as a suspect and relate them to his or herself, as “VO” Victim was Offender.
All offenses that are crimes against Property MUST have a completed property screen. Even if the crime was attempted and there was not any property involved you still MUST have a completed property screen. If there was no property involved, such as an Attempted Burglary for the Type of Property Loss you would select NONE, for the Property Description you would select OTHER, and for the VALUE you would select $1. You MUST ALWAYS report a crime against Property as STOLEN FIRST. You CANNOT just recover the Property. If Property was STOLEN and RECOVERED you must show both. NOTE: The only exception to this rule is 14:69 Illegal Possession of Stolen Things. This is the only offense that you do NOT have to report as stolen first. All DRUG offenses must also have a completed Property screen. The only Type of Property Loss for Drugs can be either SEIZED or NONE. The Property Description would be Drugs/Narcotics for Drugs and Drug Narcotic Equipment for Drug Equipment. If you have SEIZED for the Type of Property Loss, and you do not know the Measurement, you must put NOT REPORTED and $1 for the value. NOTE: If you have a Drug Measurement of Not Reported then your Drug Quantity MUST be 1.000. The 1.000 means Unknown. You Do Not Recover Drug or Drug Equipment.