Exploring Alternative Data Sources for the Study of Assault in Miami, Florida, St. Louis, Missouri, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1994 -1997 (ICPSR 4358)
Principal Investigator(s): Cohen, Jacqueline, Carnegie Mellon University
The study involved the collection of data on serious assaults that occured in three cities: Miami, Florida (1996-1997), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1994-1996), and St. Louis, Missouri (1995-1996). The data were extracted from police offense reports, and included detailed information about the incidents (Part 1) as well as information about the victims, suspects, and witnesses for each incident (Parts 2-9).
One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the data. A login is required to apply for access. (How to apply.)
A downloadable version of data for this study is available however, certain identifying information in the downloadable version may have been masked or edited to protect respondent privacy. Additional data not included in the downloadable version are available in a restricted version of this data collection. For more information about the differences between the downloadable data and the restricted data for this study, please refer to the codebook notes section of the PDF codebook. Users interested in obtaining restricted data must complete and sign a Restricted Data Use Agreement, describe the research project and data protection plan, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.
Cohen, Jacqueline. Exploring Alternative Data Sources for the Study of Assault in Miami, Florida, St. Louis, Missouri, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1994 -1997. ICPSR04358-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2013-06-10. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR04358.v1
Persistent URL: http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR04358.v1
This study was funded by:
- United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (98-MU-MU-0007)
Scope of Study
Smallest Geographic Unit: Part 1: City Census tract; Parts 2, 5, 9: ZIP code; Parts 3, 4, 6-8: none
Unit of Observation: Part 1: Incident, Parts 2-9: Individual
Universe: All police offense reports on serious assaults in Miami, Florida (1996-1997), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1994-1996), and St. Louis, Missouri (1995-1996)
Data Types: administrative records data
Data Collection Notes:
Users should be aware that there may be a problem with the assigned sampling weights included in Part 1. ICPSR has no further information about this issue.
The data provided in this collection are one piece of a multi-part study funded by a single NIJ grant. The first component of the study involved five special studies. The data used in each of these studies came primarily from data already publicly available and are not available as part of this collection. The second component of the study involved a description of data sources already available for the study of violence (Cohen, 2004). The third component of the study involved the data provided in this collection.
Users should be aware that the information on study design that was provided to ICPSR stated that data from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania were collected from 1995-1996, however the data provided also include incidents occuring in 1994.
Study Purpose: The purpose of the study was to provide data for a sample of serious assaults in three cities: Miami, Florida, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and St. Louis, Missouri.
Study Design: Working from a common coding scheme, the data were extracted from police offense reports by independent research teams working in each city. The data include detailed information about the incident (Part 1) and participants (Parts 2-9) for a sample of incidents occurring over a specified time range in each city. The data for Miami are from 327 incidents occurring from years 1996-1997 while those from Pittsburgh (524 incidents) are from 1994-1996 and those from St. Louis (504 incidents) are from years 1995-1996. The data include a sample of serious assaults that was stratified to over-represent females among victims and offenders.
Sample: Data are available for 1,355 unique incidents (Part 1), of which 327 incidents took place in Miami, 504 in St. Louis, and 524 in Pittsburgh. The other parts are broken down into data about the 1,273 suspects (Part 5), 1,857 victims (Part 2) and 503 witnesses (Part 9) associated with those incidents. The Victim's Relationship with Suspect Data (Part 3) contain information on 1,743 victim/suspect relationships. The Witness Relationship with Victim Data (Part 4) contain information on 332 witness/victim relationships. The Witness Relationship with Suspect Data (Part 8) contain information on 262 witness/suspect relationships. The Suspect Charge-Arrest Data (Part 6) contain information on 611 arrests. The Suspect Charge-Warrant Data (Part 7) contain information on 661 arrest warrants.
Time Method: Cross-sectional
Weight: Part 1 includes two weight variables, SAMPLEWE (Sample Weight Sum) and LIBWEIGH (Life-in-balance Weight Sum). Sample Weight is a multiplier factor to be applied to sample incident to produce a population estimate of total aggravated assaults reported to police. Sample Weight applies to each person (victim, suspect, and witness) in the incident to produce a population estimate of persons involved in aggravated assaults. Sample is stratified by offender and victim gender to overrpresent females among offenders and victims. If weight equals zero incident is not part of the stratified random sample of aggravated assaults. Life-in-balance cases are aggravated assaults in which the victim's injury is serious enough to result in death (available only in Pittsburgh). Life-in-balance Weight is a multiplier factor that applies to sample incident to produce a population estimate of total "life-in-balance" aggravated assaults reported to police. The same weight applies to each person (victim, suspect, and witness) in the life-in-balance incident to produce a population estimate of persons involved in these serious aggravated assaults. However, users should be aware that there may be a problem with the assigned sampling weights included in Part 1. ICPSR has no further information about this issue.
Mode of Data Collection: record abstracts
Police offense reports in Miami, Florida, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and St. Louis, Missouri
Description of Variables:
Variables in the data include attributes of victims and offenders, as well as various features describing the assault. The latter include weapon involvement, relationship between offender and victim, precipitating circumstances, and drug and gang involvement in incident. The data also include geographic information for both the locations of the incidents and residences of victims and offenders. More specifically:
- Part 1 contains 37 variables describing various aspects of the sampled incidents. These include location, information about the weapon used, circumstances surrounding the incident, and the number and gender of suspects and victims.
- Part 2 contains 29 variables describing attributes of all victims in the sampled incidents. These include type of crime, victim gender, age, marital status, race and ethnicity, location of victim's residence, previous victimization, and conduct towards police.
- Part 3 contains 5 variables describing the relationship between the victim and the suspect.
- Part 4 contains 5 variables describing the relationship between the victim and the witness.
- Part 5 contains 26 variables describing attributes of all identified suspects in sampled incidents. These include gender, age, occupation, race and ethnicity, a physical description of the suspect, warrant status and conduct towards police, and prior victimization of the suspect
- Part 6 includes 5 variables describing charges against each suspect in arrest. These include the specific charges and the number of counts against the suspect.
- Part 7 includes 5 variables describing charges against each suspect in warrant. These include the specific charges and the number of counts against the suspect.
- Part 8 includes 5 variables describing the relationships among witnesses and suspects.
- Part 9 includes 15 variables describing attributes of all witnesses in the sampled incidents. These include age, race, gender, occupation, marital status, location of residence, and whether the witness was injured.
Response Rates: Not applicable
Presence of Common Scales: None
- Created variable labels and/or value labels.
- Standardized missing values.
- Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.
Original ICPSR Release: 2013-06-10
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