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Investigative and Prosecutorial Strategies for Mitigating Pathways to Radicalization: Creation of a Federal Terrorism Court Record Repository

NCJ Number
304791
Author(s)
Jeff Gruenewald, Ph.D.; Brent L. Smith, Ph.D.; Christopher Shields, Ph.D.
Date Published
2022
Length
51 pages
Annotation

This is the Final Report on a project with the goal of compensating for limitations in access to data on terrorism and violent domestic extremism by developing a password-protected web portal called the American Terrorism Study Court Record Repository (ATSCoRR).

Abstract

The ATS contains federal court documents that were collected in-person or by mail from U.S. District Courts and regional archives from across the country, as well as court documents that have been purchased primarily through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system. Combined, the ATS currently maintains one of the most comprehensive sets of federal court documents related to terrorism cases since the late 1980s that have involved terrorism and domestic extremists who have engaged in violence across the ideological spectrum. In addition to providing access to the decades of court records compiled by the ATS, the ATSCoRR identifies links between case documents, successful use of counts or combination of counts, the verbiage used in indictments, and unique motions filed in each case. Existing cases and associated coding in the ATS database were reviewed by project staff and evaluated for inclusion in ATSCoRR. From these, the project team loaded 956 cases into the ATSCoRR portal by time of submission of this final report. Approximately 400 additional court cases have been marked for future inclusion, pending finalization of court proceedings or collection and organization of case documents. These 956 cases are linked to 1,627 defendants and just over 9,000 individual criminal counts available for analysis in ATSCoRR, and connected to tens of thousands of pages of federal court records that total about 15GB worth of court records. Examples are provided for how the ATSCoRR may be used.

Date Published: January 1, 2022