The Source for Crime and Justice Data

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Pub. Type:
Effects of the Redesign on Victimization Estimates
Subtitle/Series Name:
National Crime Victimization Survey
The National Crime Victimization Survey -- a major source of the Nation's statistics on criminal victimization -- has undergone an extensive redesign. A collaborative effort on this redesign among several institutions and agencies began in the late 1970's and focused primarily on improving the accuracy and utility of crime measurement. Redesign focused on enhancing screening that would better stimulate respondents' recall of victimizations; devising screening questions that sharpen the concepts of criminal victimization and diminish the effects of subjective interpretations of the survey questions; and introducing additional questions on the nature and consequences of victimizations that would yield useful data for analysis. In 1992 the redesign of the survey was introduced for half of the sample in such a way that comparisons could be made. This report analyzes the differences in estimates from the two designs. In this paper, the survey prior to the redesign is referred to as the National Crime Survey (NCS), and that after the redesign is referred to as the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). The study considers the effects of the new design on estimates of crime rates and for different types of events. Also considered are the effects of the redesign within categories of victims. The study found that respondents generally recounted more victimizations in the new design than the old. They were given a larger number of cues to assist in the recall and recounting of eligible crime events. The increased cueing for gray-area events and the subsequent higher rates of recounting in the new design may also explain the apparent differences in the effect of the design for different types of respondents. 11 references source
NCJ 164381
United States Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics
Place of Production:
Washington, DC

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