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An Introduction to the National Inmate Study
The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003 (P.L. 108-79) requires the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) to develop new national data collections on the incidence and prevalence of sexual assault within correctional facilities. The Act requires BJS to survey each year not less than 10% of all federal, state, and local correctional facilities and to provide facility-level estimates of sexual assault for each sampled facility. To fully implement PREA, BJS has developed a multiple-measure, multiplemethod data collection strategy. One of these data collection activities, the National Inmate Survey (NIS), involves obtaining information directly from adult inmates on their experiences with sexual assault. This paper provides an overview of the NIS Pilot Study, which was conducted in preparation for national implementation. We include discussions of human subjects issues, design of the facility sample, development of the survey instrument, the special arrangements that must be made to conduct interviews in correctional facilities, the process of collecting data, and the NIS Pilot Study results.
Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology
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