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.

Repeat Offender Laws in the United States: Forms, Uses, and Perceived Value, 1983 (ICPSR 9328)

Principal Investigator(s): McDonald, William F.; Athens, Lonnie A.; Minton, Thomas J.


This survey of prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges in jurisdictions with sentence enhancement statutes for repeat offenders collected information about the characteristics of the laws and criminal justice professionals regarding the fairness, effectiveness, and practice of the laws. The jurisdiction file includes variables such as jurisdiction size, number of provisions in the law, number of felony cases handled under the law per year, number of defendants sentenced as repeat offenders, frequency of charging and sentencing under the law, and minimum and maximum sentences specified in the statutes. The variables in the three surveys of practitioners contain data related to their familiarity with the laws, descriptions of recent cases, and satisfaction with the new statutes.

Access Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Prosecutors Survey - Download All Files (4.222 MB)
DS2:  Defense Attorney Survey - Download All Files (4.215 MB)
DS3:  Judges Survey - Download All Files (4.215 MB)
DS4:  Jurisdiction Data - Download All Files (4.215 MB)

Study Description


McDonald, William F., Lonnie A. Athens, and Thomas J. Minton. Repeat Offender Laws in the United States: Forms, Uses, and Perceived Value, 1983. ICPSR09328-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1990.

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (83-IJ-CX-0023)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    attorneys, criminal justice system, felony offenses, judges, jurisdiction, prosecuting attorneys, recidivists, sentencing

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1983

Date of Collection:   

  • 1984

Universe:    General recidivist laws in effect during 1983 in the United States.

Data Type(s):    survey data


Sample:    Within each of the 49 jurisdictions with general repeat offender laws, two local jurisdictions were randomly selected: one from localities with populations between 50,000 and 250,000 in 1980, and the other from larger localities. Criminal justice professionals who were familiar with the repeat offender laws were selected from a convenience sample of prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges.

Data Source:

Legal reference books, and telephone surveys.


Original ICPSR Release:   1990-05-01

Version History:

  • 2006-01-18 File CB9328.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.

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