Response to Terrorism by Local Prosecutors in 70 Large Jurisdictions in the United States, 2004 (ICPSR 20262)
Principal Investigator(s): Nugent-Borakove, M. Elaine, American Prosecutors Research Institute; Johnson, James L., American Prosecutors Research Institute; Bartholomew, Brad, American Prosecutors Research Institute; Bromirski, Delene, American Prosecutors Research Institute
The American Prosecutors Research Institute (APRI) conducted an exploratory study to examine how prosecutors can best respond to terrorism in a post-September 11 legislative environment. Because the passage of anti-terrorism legislation at the state level has the potential to have an impact on local prosecutors, who are responsible for enforcing state laws, the American Prosecutors Research Institute (APRI) designed a survey to examine local prosecutors' involvement in homeland security and the ways in which their offices' organizational structure have changed to facilitate their involvement. Surveys were mailed or faxed to the 112 largest jurisdictions in the country. The survey instrument was divided into the following seven sections: (1) Background Information on the Jurisdiction, (2) Experience With State Legislation, (3) Organizational Changes, (4) Challenges Facing Local Prosecutors, (5) Methods Used to Overcome Challenges, (6) Coordination With Other Agencies, and (7) Training Needs. The survey questions focused on the legal framework and organizational structure in which local prosecutors operate.
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Nugent-Borakove, M. Elaine, James L. Johnson, Brad Bartholomew, and Delene Bromirski. RESPONSE TO TERRORISM BY LOCAL PROSECUTORS IN 70 LARGE JURISDICTIONS IN THE UNITED STATES, 2004.. ICPSR20262-v1. Alexandria, VA: American Prosecutors Research Institute [producer], 2004. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2007-10-16. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR20262.v1
Persistent URL: http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR20262.v1
This study was funded by:
- United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2003-IJ-CX-1025)
Scope of Study
Subject Terms: terrorism, terrorist threat, prosecuting attorneys, homeland security, legislation, anti-terrorist laws, terrorist prosecution
Smallest Geographic Unit: none
Geographic Coverage: United States
Date of Collection:
Unit of Observation: agency
Universe: Prosecutorial Jurisdictions in the United States with a population greater than 500,000 in 2004.
Data Types: survey data
Data Collection Notes:
Data from the statutory review of the new/amended state anti-terrorism legislation and the five case studies are not available as part of this collection.
Study Purpose: The American Prosecutors Research Institute (APRI) conducted an exploratory study to examine how prosecutors can best respond to terrorism in a post-September 11 legislative environment. The goal of this study was to assess local prosecutors' enforcement of new state legislation, changes in prosecutorial responsibilities in a post-September 11 environment, changes in priorities and the practical implications of these changes, and new challenges encountered, particularly those that affect the integration of local, state, and federal efforts.
Study Design: Because the passage of anti-terrorism legislation at the state level has the potential to leave an impact on local prosecutors, who are responsible for enforcing state laws, the American Prosecutors Research Institute (APRI) designed a survey to examine local prosecutors' involvement in homeland security and the ways in which their offices' organizational structure have changed to facilitate their involvement. Surveys were mailed or faxed to the 112 largest jurisdictions in the country, and participants were given 14 days to complete and return the survey. A second mailing/faxing was conducted immediately after the 14-day response period elapsed, to those offices that had not responded. Those offices were given an additional 14 days to respond. Surveys were distributed a third and final time to nonrespondents via facsimile the day after the second deadline. This time, nonrespondents were given 10 days to complete the survey.
Sample: APRI used a judgment sample to survey the 112 largest jurisdictions in the country. A jurisdiction was defined as large if it had a population equal to or greater than 500,000. A judgment sample was used because it was believed that prosecutors in large jurisdictions would have the most experience with the new and/or amended state legislation. Furthermore, the intent of the survey was not to generalize the results to all local prosecutors' offices in the country.
Weight: Not applicable.
Mode of Data Collection: mail questionnaire
Data were obtained from mail and fax surveys.
Description of Variables: The survey instrument was divided into the following seven sections: (1) Background Information on the Jurisdiction, (2) Experience With State Legislation, (3) Organizational Changes, (4) Challenges Facing Local Prosecutors, (5) Methods Used to Overcome Challenges, (6) Coordination With Other Agencies, and (7) Training Needs. The survey questions focused on the legal framework and organizational structure in which local prosecutors operate. Variables in Section 1, Background Information on the Jurisdiction, include the capacity in which the jurisdiction is involved in homeland security issues, the number of terrorism-related offenses and terrorist acts investigated and/or prosecuted, and whether the offense was classified as domestic and/or international. Experience With State Legislation (Section 2) variables include the awareness of new state statutes, the number of cases investigated and/or prosecuted under new and/or amended statutes, the prosecution of precursor crimes related to terrorism -- and how such crimes are determined to be related to terrorism, as well as caseload changes by crime. Items contained in Section 3, Organizational Changes, include the procedural/organizational changes in the office in response to the September 11 attacks, the number and type of staff involved in terrorism-related cases, case processing issues, and other changes in policy/procedures. Section 4, Challenges Facing Local Prosecutors, contains questions pertaining to the perceived challenges and value of new intelligence-gathering methods and the perceived impact of the new legislation on ability to respond to terrorism. Section 5, Methods Used to Overcome Challenges, asks respondents about 16 methods that jurisdictions employ to overcome the challenges encountered as a result of investigating and prosecuting terrorism incidents. Variables pertaining to the types and frequency of information sharing with other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, participation in anti-terrorism task forces, and intelligence sharing are included in Section 6, Coordination With Other Agencies. Section 7, Training Needs, includes variables that address the adequacy of training, as well as training areas that would help facilitate the effective prosecution of terrorist acts.
Response Rates: A total of 70 jurisdictions completed the survey, which produced a response rate of 62.5 percent.
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:
- Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.
Original ICPSR Release: 2007-10-16
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