Integrated Criminal Court Survey (ICCS)
Summary of changes
Activity on this program started: 1991
The Integrated Criminal Court Survey (ICCS) is an annual administrative data survey that was implemented to replace two previous micro-data surveys: the Adult Criminal Court Survey (ACCS, see legacy versions of record number 3312) and the Youth Court Survey (YCS, see record number 3309). The purpose of redevelopment was to collect new information related to the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA). At the same time, it was an opportunity to integrate data collection and processing, implement a snapshot data collection strategy (collect appearances as they occurred rather than once the case was completed), and change survey definitions to more closely reflect court processing.
The concept of a case has changed from previous releases of data, where it was defined as one or more charges presented against an individual and disposed of in court on the same day (known as an "end-date" case). The new person-case definition combines charges into cases using multiple date references (rather than simply the date of disposal) for all complete and incomplete charges against the same accused. The impact of this change is noticeable in the compression of case counts as well as conviction rates for some jurisdictions, where certain administrative practices (e.g., use of stays, relays, withdrawals, transfers, etc.) may have resulted in multiple cases against an accused using the end-date definition. The person-case definition is more effective for analyzing caseload, case processing and case complexity statistics, due to its nature of identifying all charges against an accused that are being heard simultaneously before the court. Since all data have been processed using the new case definition, case counts should not be compared with those in previously released data tables and reports.
The commencement of data collection from superior courts in 1998/99 resulted in changes to the data collection and processing methods used by the ACCS. In the jurisdictions providing superior court data (i.e., Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Alberta, British Columbia, and Yukon, changes in court level - either committals for trial in superior court, or re-elections to provincial court - are not captured as final decisions for the reference period. In contrast, elections to superior court are counted as final provincial court decisions in jurisdictions not providing superior court data (i.e., Newfoundland and Labrador, Quesbec, Ontario and Saskatchewan). This results in an under count of cases with a finding of guilt of approximately 2% in these jurisdictions.