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.

Performance Measures in Prosecution and Their Application to Community Prosecution at Two Sites in the United States, 2005-2006 (ICPSR 20401) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

The purpose of this study was to explore empirical evidence to support the performance measurement framework identified by the American Prosecutors Research Institute's (APRI) Prosecution Study for the 21st Century. The framework included promoting the fair, impartial, and expeditious pursuit of justice and ensuring public safety. Two prosecutors' offices participated in the study. One was a traditional office, and the other was a more community-oriented office. Each site submitted monthly data on the identified performance measures for analysis. APRI also designed and administered a public safety survey to assess a number of factors related to the performance of prosecutors' offices, but for which data could not be provided by the offices. The public safety surveys were administered by phone using random digit dialing (RDD). Part 1, Site 1 Administrative Data, contains 15 months of data, and Part 2, Site 2 Administrative Data, contain 6 months of data on the identified performance measures for analysis from each site. Part 3, Public Safety Survey Data, contains variables that provide some basic demographic data about the respondents and several variables in response to Likert-style questions measuring attitudes and opinions on six factors. These include the seriousness of local crime, safety of the environment, organizational behavior of the prosecutor's office, participation in the community, community education, and task performance.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

DS0:  Study-Level Files
Documentation:
DS1:  Site 1 Administrative Data - Download All Files (1.5 MB)
DS2:  Site 2 Administrative Data - Download All Files (1.5 MB)
DS3:  Public Safety Survey Data - Download All Files (2.6 MB)

Study Description

Citation

Nugent-Borakove, M. Elaine, Lisa M. Budzilowicz, and Gerard Rainville. Performance Measures in Prosecution and Their Application to Community Prosecution at Two Sites in the United States, 2005-2006. ICPSR20401-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-10-31. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR20401.v1

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)

Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2004-PP-CX-0002)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   arrests, case dismissal, case processing, convictions (law), disposition (legal), fear of crime, justice, performance, plea negotiations, pleas, prosecution, public safety, sentencing

Smallest Geographic Unit:   none

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 2005-01--2006-09

Date of Collection:  

  • 2005-01--2006-09

Unit of Observation:   Part 1 and Part 2: performance measure. Part 3: individual.

Universe:   Part 1: All performance measure data collected by Site 1 from January 2005 to March 2006. Part 2: All performance measure data collected by Site 2 from January 2005 to March 2006. Part 3: All persons with telephones aged 18 and over living in the jurisdiction of Site 1 in December 2005 and April 2006 and all persons with telephones aged 18 and over living in the jurisdiction of Site 2 in September 2006.

Data Types:   aggregate data, survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Data from the interviews and data assessments to select performance measures based on the offices' policies and practices are not available as part of this collection.

Methodology

Study Purpose:   The purpose of this study was to explore empirical evidence to support the performance measurement framework identified by the Prosecution Study for the 21st Century. The framework included promoting the fair, impartial, and expeditious pursuit of justice and ensuring public safety.

Study Design:  

Two prosecutors' offices participated in the study. One was a traditional office, focusing on holding offenders accountable and case processing. The other was a more community-oriented office, having implemented community prosecution. More specifically, the first office was more traditional in its approach to prosecution, focusing on holding offenders accountable and case processing with some additional efforts focused on addressing and preventing certain types of crime, such as gang and gun violence, domestic violence, child abuse, and truancy. The second office was more community-oriented, having implemented and embraced a community prosecution approach to crime, which involved proactive problem-solving, partnerships with the community, and use of techniques other than criminal prosecution to address certain types of crime and public safety issues.

The American Prosecutors Research Institute (APRI) conducted two site visits to each site--one at the beginning of the project to select performance measures and a second in the middle of the project to review the performance measures data that had been submitted by the site. Performance measures were operationalized for each office according to the strategies and practices to which they were tied. Each site submitted monthly data on the identified performance measures for analysis. The data collected to construct each measure focused on available relevant data already in existence in each of the sites. Data elements used to create the measures included items such as the number of particular cases filed, pleas to lesser charges or as charged, or convicted, number of repeat offenders, sentence length, number of reported crimes and calls for service, and case processing times, among others. Both traditional and non-traditional data elements were selected for both sites. Site 1 submitted 15 months of data (Part 1) and Site 2 submitted 6 months of data (Part 2). APRI created models for each site showing the relationship between goals, objectives, performance measures, and activities. Correlation and factor analyses were used to examine the relationship between the measures and the goals/objectives.

APRI also designed and administered a public safety survey to assess a number of factors related to the performance of prosecutors' offices, but for which data could not be provided by the offices. In Part 3, a total of 975 citizens were asked to provide some basic demographic data about themselves and to respond to Likert-style questions measuring attitudes and opinions on six factors: the seriousness of local crime, safety of the environment, organizational behavior of the prosecutor's office, participation in the community, community education, and task performance. The public safety surveys were administered by phone using random digit dialing (RDD). Dialing continued until 325 respondents, in each of the jurisdictions, provided complete survey data. In Site 1, the public safety survey was administered twice, in December 2005 and in April 2006. In Site 2, the public safety survey was administered in September 2006. Due to concerns about conducting a community survey during an election campaign, Site 2 only administered one survey, late in the study period.

Sample:   The researchers selected two prosecutors' offices to participate in the study: Site 1 -- a traditional office, focusing on holding offenders accountable and case processing, and Site 2 -- a more community-oriented office, having implemented community prosecution. Both Site 1 and Site 2 provided performance measures data. The public safety surveys (Part 3) were administered by phone to a random sample of respondents in each of the jurisdictions (Site 1 and Site 2) using random digit dialing (RDD). In Site 1, the public safety survey was administered twice, in December 2005 and in April 2006. In Site 2, the public safety survey was administered in September 2006. Due to concerns about conducting a community survey during an election campaign, Site 2 only administered one survey. For each of the three times that the survey was administered, random digit dialing continued until 325 respondents provided complete survey data. Thus, the total sample consists of 975 respondents (650 from Site 1 and 325 from Site 2).

Weight:   none

Mode of Data Collection:   record abstracts, telephone interview

Data Source:

For Part 1 and Part 2, the research team obtained performance measures data from each of the two sites. For Part 3, data were obtained from telephone interviews.

Description of Variables:   Part 1, Site 1 Administrative Data, contains 15 months of data and Part 2, Site 2 Administrative Data, contain 6 months of data on the identified performance measures for analysis from each site. Specifically, Part 1 and Part 2 contain items such as the number of particular cases filed, pleas to lesser charges or as charged or convicted, number of repeat offenders, sentence length, number of reported crimes and calls for service, and case processing times, among others. Part 3, Public Safety Survey Data, contains variables that provide some basic demographic data (age, race, gender) about the respondents and several variables in response to Likert-style questions measuring attitudes and opinions on six factors: the seriousness of local crime, safety of the environment, organizational behavior of the prosecutor's office, participation in the community, community education, and task performance. In particular, variables in Part 3 included citizens' impressions of changes in the level of crime in their communities and the city as a whole, level of citizen fear of being a victim of various specified crimes, general feelings of safety in their community and the city as a whole, recent changes in citizens' level of fear of crime, identifying environmental conditions (e.g., abandoned cars, poor lighting) that lead to citizens feeling unsafe, the nature of citizens' interaction, if any, with the local prosecutor's office, the perceived helpfulness and fairness of the local prosecutor's office (for those residents with direct interaction with the prosecutor's office), citizens' understanding of the work of prosecutors (e.g., why some cases do not go to trial, etc.), whether citizens have served on a jury in the past five years, the perceived importance of the prosecutor's office for public safety and crime reduction, and the efficacy of the prosecutor's office in holding offenders accountable, addressing community problems, administering justice swiftly, etc.

Response Rates:   Part 1 and Part 2: Not applicable. Part 3: Not available.

Presence of Common Scales:   Several Likert-type scales were used.

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:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

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