National Archive of Criminal Justice Data

This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Assessment of a Multiagency Approach to Drug-Involved Gang Members in San Diego County, California, 1988-1992 (ICPSR 2022) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

In 1988, with funds from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) via the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1987, a multiagency task force, Jurisdictions Unified for Drug Gang Enforcement (JUDGE), was created. Spearheaded by the San Diego County District Attorney's Office and representing a unique blend of police officers, probation officers, and deputy district attorneys working together, the JUDGE program targeted documented gang members also involved in drug use and sales. The task force incorporated an intensive supervision approach that enforced conditions of probation and drug laws and provided vertical prosecution for probation violations and new offenses involving targeted offenders. This research project sought to address the following research objectives: (1) to determine if the JUDGE program objectives were met during the grant period, (2) to assess the results of program activities, such as surveillance, special enforcement, and vertical prosecution, in terms of probation violations, arrests, pretrial custody, probation revocations, convictions, and sentences, (3) to evaluate the impact of the program on offenders as measured by recidivism and the need for probation intervention, (4) to assess the cost of JUDGE probation compared to regular probation caseloads, and (5) to provide recommendations regarding the implementation of similar programs in other jurisdictions. This research project consisted of a process evaluation and an impact assessment that focused on the first two years of the JUDGE program, when youthful offenders were the targets (1988 and 1989). The research effort focused only on new targets for whom adequate records were maintained, yielding a study size of 279. The tracking period for targets ended in 1992. For the impact assessment, the research was structured as a within-subjects design, with the comparison focusing on target youths two years before the implementation of JUDGE and the same group two years after being targeted by JUDGE. Data were compiled on the juveniles' age at target, race, sex, gang affiliation, type of target (gang member, drug history, and/or ward), status when targeted, and referrals to other agencies. Variables providing data on criminal histories include age at first contact/arrest, instant offense and disposition, highest charges for each subsequent arrest that resulted in probation supervision, drug charges, highest conviction charges, probation conditions before selection date and after JUDGE target, number of contacts by probation and JUDGE staff, number of violations for each probation condition and action taken, and new offenses during probation. For the process evaluation, case outcome data were compared to project objectives to measure compliance in terms of program implementation and results. Variables include number of violations for each probation condition and action taken, and number of failed drug tests. The consequences of increased probation supervision, including revocation, sentences, custody time, and use of vertical prosecution, were addressed by comparing the processing of cases prior to the implementation of JUDGE to case processing after JUDGE targeting.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

Dataset - Download All Files (20.7 MB)
Documentation:
Data:

Study Description

Citation

Pennell, Susan, Roni Melton, and Darlanne Hoctor. Assessment of a Multiagency Approach to Drug-Involved Gang Members in San Diego County, California, 1988-1992. ICPSR02022-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2002. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02022.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (91-DD-CX-0046)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   case processing, drug traffic, drug use, gang members, gangs, government agencies, law enforcement, program evaluation

Geographic Coverage:   California, United States

Time Period:  

  • 1988--1992

Date of Collection:  

  • 1989--1992

Unit of Observation:   Record types 1-3 and 5: Individuals. Record type 4: Arrests.

Universe:   All targets of the JUDGE program in San Diego County from 1988 and 1989.

Data Types:   administrative records data

Data Collection Notes:

The data file contains five record types. The number of records in record types 1-3 and 5, the individual offender records, is 279. The number of records in record type 4, the arrest records, is 2,375. The data definition statements distributed with this collection follow the principal investigator's SPSS setup file that defined the data as a nested (hierarchical) file. The nested option is necessary to read the multiple records in record type 4. However, the data file is not conceptually a hierarchical file. Users are encouraged to read the codebook notes for more information. The number of variables for each record type is as follows: record type 1: 32 variables, record type 2: 122 variables, record type 3: 37 variables, record type 4: 31 variables, and record type 5: 94 variables.

Methodology

Study Purpose:   With the upsurge of narcotics trafficking in the mid-1980s, many areas of the United States developed multijurisdictional task forces with federal assistance. The task forces varied as to levels of government involved (e.g., federal, state, municipal), types of agencies included (e.g., law enforcement, prosecutors, community agencies), and targets for focus (e.g., high-level drug traffickers, mid-level dealers, street-level users). Assessments of these programs had been primarily process-oriented, conducted by the program staff and including a compilation of drug arrests and seizures. In 1988, with funds from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) via the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1987, a multiagency task force, Jurisdictions Unified for Drug Gang Enforcement (JUDGE), was created. Spearheaded by the San Diego County District Attorney's Office and representing a unique blend of police officers, probation officers, and deputy district attorneys working together, the JUDGE program targeted documented gang members also involved in drug use and sales. JUDGE was responsible for the entire county of San Diego and was housed within the probation department, with staff operating in a plainclothes capacity. The JUDGE approach targeted drug-involved juvenile gang members and adult habitual drug offenders, with or without a gang affiliation. The task force incorporated an intensive supervision approach that enforced conditions of probation and drug laws and provided vertical prosecution for probation violations and new offenses involving targeted offenders. The goals of the program were to make offenders accountable for criminal acts and to reduce drug use and sales. This research project sought to address the following research objectives: (1) to determine if the JUDGE program objectives were met during the grant period, (2) to assess the results of program activities, such as surveillance, special enforcement, and vertical prosecution, in terms of probation violations, arrests, pretrial custody, probation revocations, convictions, and sentences, (3) to evaluate the impact of the program on offenders as measured by recidivism and the need for probation intervention, (4) to assess the cost of JUDGE probation compared to regular probation caseloads, and (5) to provide recommendations regarding the implementation of similar programs in other jurisdictions.

Study Design:   This research project consisted of a process evaluation and an impact assessment that focused on the first two years of the JUDGE program, when youthful offenders were the targets (1988 and 1989). However, the research effort focused only on new targets identified after July 1, 1989, because the available information on other targets was incomplete, missing, or insufficient for evaluation purposes. Combining all of the JUDGE targets for whom records were maintained in 1988 and 1989 (in Year 1 and Year 2) yielded a study size of 279. The tracking period for targets ended in 1992. For the impact assessment, the research was structured as a within-subjects design with the comparison focusing on target youths two years before the implementation of JUDGE and the same group two years after being targeted by JUDGE. Data were compiled on the juveniles' sociodemographic characteristics, gang affiliations, criminal histories, offenses that resulted in probation supervision, probation conditions, contacts by probation and JUDGE staff, performance during probation, and new offenses during probation. For the process evaluation, case outcome data were compared to project objectives to measure compliance in terms of program implementation and results, such as probation violations and drug test results. The consequences of increased probation supervision, including revocation, custody time, and use of vertical prosecution, were addressed by comparing the processing of cases prior to the implementation of JUDGE to case processing after JUDGE targeting.

Sample:   The screening criteria used to identify JUDGE targets included juveniles (1) with evidence of a drug history, (2) who were wards of the court, and (3) who were documented gang members.

Data Source:

arrest reports, probation records, JUDGE files, court documents, and criminal history records

Description of Variables:   Variables include gang affiliation, type of target (gang member, drug history, and/or ward), status when targeted, age at target, race, sex, various probation conditions before selection date and after JUDGE target, number of violations for each and action taken, number of probation contacts and months on probation, number of failed drug tests, referrals to other agencies, age at first contact/arrest, instant offense and disposition, highest charges for each subsequent arrest, drug charges, highest conviction charges, sentences, time in custody, and type of prosecution (vertical or nonvertical). Date variables include date of intake as target, release date from JUDGE, wardship termination, beginning and ending of tracking period, most recent arrest, first contact, first referral, first wardship, each subsequent arrest, charge filing date, disposition, and dates in and out of each custody facility.

Response Rates:   Not applicable.

Presence of Common Scales:   None.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2002-03-05 Code lists were added as Appendix D to the PDF documentation.

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