Deaths in Custody Reporting Program: Arrest-Related Deaths, 2003-2009 (ICPSR 36291)

Alternate Title:   DCRP

Principal Investigator(s): United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics


The Arrest-Related Deaths (ARD) program is an annual national census of persons who die either during the process of arrest or while in the custody of state or local law enforcement personnel. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) implemented the ARD program in 2003 as part of the Deaths in Custody Reporting Program (DCRP). The DCRP was initiated to fulfill the data collection requirement of the Deaths in Custody Reporting Act of 2000 (DICRA, P.L. 106- 247). It collects in-depth information on deaths during arrest and incarceration, and it provides national-level information on the deaths of suspects and offenders from their initial contact with law enforcement personnel through the time they are incarcerated in a jail or prison. ARD data are collected to quantify and describe the circumstances surrounding civilian deaths that take place during an arrest or while in the custody of law enforcement. These data describe the prevalence and incidence of arrest-related deaths across the nation, identify the circumstances or activities that contribute to these deaths, and reveal trends in the causes and circumstances of these deaths in custody at national and state levels. These data can be used to inform specific policies that may increase the safety of law enforcement officers and citizens, identify training needs in law enforcement agencies, and assist in developing prevention strategies. The current ARD program relies on state reporting coordinators (SRCs) in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia to identify and report on all eligible cases of arrest-related deaths. BJS compiles data from the states to produce national-level statistics on deaths that occur in the process of arrest by, or while in the custody of, state and local law enforcement personnel.

Series: Deaths in Custody Reporting Program Series

Access Notes

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the restricted-use data. A login is required to apply.

    Due to the sensitive nature of the data and to protect respondent confidentiality, the data are restricted from general dissemination. These data are enclave-only and may only be accessed at ICPSR's location in Ann Arbor, MI. Users wishing to view these data must first contact NACJD, complete an Application for use of the ICPSR Data Enclave (available as part of the documentation for this study), and receive permission to analyze the files before traveling to Ann Arbor. More information may be found at ICPSR's Enclave Data Web site.

    Completed forms should be returned to: Director, National Archive of Criminal Justice Data, Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, Institute for Social Research, P.O. Box 1248, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248, or by fax: 734-647-8200.

    Any 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.


No downloadable data files available.

Study Description


United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Deaths in Custody Reporting Program: Arrest-Related Deaths, 2003-2009. ICPSR36291-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2016-01-29.

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    arrests, correctional facilities, corrections, death, homicide, suicide

Smallest Geographic Unit:    state

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 2003--2009

Date of Collection:   

  • 2003--2009

Unit of Observation:    individuals

Universe:    Arrests related deaths of individuals reported by state and local law enforcement agencies from 2003 to 2009.

Data Type(s):    administrative records data, event/transaction data, medical records


Sample:    Individual-level death data are collected from the 50 state department of corrections in the United States.

Time Method:    Cross-sectional

Mode of Data Collection:    mail questionnaire, self-enumerated questionnaire

Data Source:

State departments of corrections

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:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   2016-01-29

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