The Source for Crime and Justice Data

National Assessment Program Survey of Criminal Justice Agencies in the United States, 1992-1994 (ICPSR 6481)

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

The National Assessment Program (NAP) Survey was conducted to determine the needs and problems of state and local criminal justice agencies. At the local level in each sampled county, survey questionnaires were distributed to police chiefs of the largest city, sheriffs, jail administrators, prosecutors, public defenders, chief trial court judges, trial court administrators (where applicable), and probation and parole agency heads. Data were collected at the state level through surveys sent to attorneys general, commissioners of corrections, prison wardens, state court administrators, and directors of probation and parole. For the 1992-1994 survey, 13 separate questionnaires were used. Police chiefs and sheriffs received the same survey instruments, with a screening procedure employed to identify sheriffs who handled law enforcement responsibilities. Of the 411 counties selected, 264 counties also employed trial court administrators. Judges and trial court administrators received identical survey instruments. A total of 546 surveys were mailed to probation and parole agencies, with the same questions asked of state and local officers. Counties that had separate agencies for probation and parole were sent two surveys. All survey instruments were divided into sections on workload (except that the wardens, jail administrators, and corrections commissioners were sent a section on jail use and crowding instead), staffing, operations and procedures, and background. The staffing section of each survey queried respondents on recruitment, retention, training, and number of staff. The other sections varied from instrument to instrument, with questions tailored to the responsibilities of the particular agency. Most of the questionnaires asked about use of automated information systems, programs, policies, or aspects of the facility or security needing improvement, agency responsibilities and jurisdictions, factors contributing to workload increases, budget, number of fulltime employees and other staff, and contracted services. Questions specific to police chiefs and sheriffs included activities aimed at drug problems and whether they anticipated increases in authorized strength in officers. Jail administrators, corrections commissioners, and wardens were asked about factors contributing to jail crowding, alternatives to jail, medical services offered, drug testing and drug-related admissions, and inmate classification. Topics covered by the surveys for prosecutors, public defenders, judges, and state and trial court administrators included types of cases handled, case timeliness, diversion and sentencing alternatives, and court and jury management. State and local probation and parole agency directors were asked about diagnostic tools, contracted services, and drug testing. Attorneys general were queried about operational issues, statutory authority, and legal services and support provided to state and local criminal justice agencies.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

DS1:  Jail Administrators Data - Download All Files (1.4 MB)
DS2:  Judges Data - Download All Files (0.8 MB)
DS3:  Police Chiefs Data - Download All Files (0.9 MB)
DS4:  Probation and Parole Agency Directors Data - Download All Files (0.3 MB)
Documentation:
Data:
ASCII
ASCII + SPSS Setup
DS5:  Prosecutors Data - Download All Files (1 MB)
DS6:  Public Defenders Data - Download All Files (1.2 MB)
DS7:  Sheriffs Data - Download All Files (0.2 MB)
Documentation:
Data:
ASCII
ASCII + SPSS Setup
DS8:  State Attorneys General Data - Download All Files (0.4 MB)
DS9:  State Commissioners of Corrections Data - Download All Files (0.5 MB)
DS10:  State Court Administrators Data - Download All Files (0.5 MB)
DS11:  State Probation and Parole Agency Directors Data - Download All Files (0.6 MB)
DS12:  Trial Court Administrators Data - Download All Files (0.8 MB)
DS13:  Wardens Data - Download All Files (1.4 MB)
DS14:  SAS Data Definition Statements for Jail Administrators Data - Download All Files (0.1 MB)
Data:

ASCII + SAS Setup
DS15:  SAS Data Definition Statements for Judges Data - Download All Files (0.1 MB)
Data:

ASCII + SAS Setup
DS16:  SAS Data Definition Statements for Police Chiefs Data - Download All Files (0.1 MB)
Data:

ASCII + SAS Setup
DS17:  SAS Data Definition Statements for Probation and Parole Agency Directors Data - Download All Files (0.1 MB)
Data:

ASCII + SAS Setup
DS18:  SAS Data Definition Statements for Prosecutors Data - Download All Files (0.1 MB)
Data:

ASCII + SAS Setup
DS19:  SAS Data Definition Statements for Public Defenders Data - Download All Files (0.1 MB)
Data:

ASCII + SAS Setup
DS20:  SAS Data Definition Statements for Sheriffs Data - Download All Files (0.1 MB)
Data:

ASCII + SAS Setup
DS21:  SAS Data Definition Statements for State Attorneys General Data - Download All Files (0.1 MB)
Data:

ASCII + SAS Setup
DS22:  SAS Data Definition Statements for State Commissioners of Corrections Data - Download All Files (0.1 MB)
Data:

ASCII + SAS Setup
DS23:  SAS Data Definition Statements for State Court Administrators Data - Download All Files (0.1 MB)
Data:

ASCII + SAS Setup
DS24:  SAS Data Definition Statements for State Probation and Parole Agency Directors Data - Download All Files (0.1 MB)
Data:

ASCII + SAS Setup
DS25:  SAS Data Definition Statements for Trial Court Administrators Data - Download All Files (0.1 MB)
Data:

ASCII + SAS Setup
DS26:  SAS Data Definition Statements for Wardens Data - Download All Files (0.1 MB)
Data:

ASCII + SAS Setup
DS27:  User Guide
Documentation:
Download:
No downloadable data files available.

Study Description

Citation

McEwen, J. Thomas. NATIONAL ASSESSMENT PROGRAM SURVEY OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE AGENCIES IN THE UNITED STATES, 1992-1994. ICPSR version. Alexandria, VA: Institute for Law and Justice [producer], 1994. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1996. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06481.v1

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (OJP-92-C-005)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   case processing, corrections management, courts, criminal justice system, information systems, law enforcement agencies, needs assessment, police recruits, police training, policies and procedures, prisons, sentencing

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1992--1994

Date of Collection:  

  • 1993-10--1994-02

Unit of Observation:   Criminal justice agencies.

Universe:   State and local criminal justice agencies in the United States.

Data Types:   survey data

Methodology

Study Purpose:   The National Institute of Justice conducts the National Assessment Program (NAP) Survey approximately every three years to determine the needs and problems of state and local criminal justice agencies. Survey results indicate the extent to which heads of agencies believe their efforts need improvement and identify key areas in which strategies need to be established. Survey results also point out the needs of these agencies and specify programs and strategies that might be effective in addressing the prevailing issues.

Study Design:   At the local level in each sampled county, survey questionnaires were distributed to police chiefs of the largest city, sheriffs, jail administrators, prosecutors, public defenders, chief trial court judges, trial court administrators (where applicable), and probation and parole agency heads. Data were collected at the state level through surveys sent to attorneys general, commissioners of corrections, prison wardens, state court administrators, and directors of probation and parole. For the 1992-1994 survey, 13 separate questionnaires were used. Police chiefs and sheriffs received the same survey instruments, with a screening procedure employed to identify sheriffs who handled law enforcement responsibilities. The 347 sheriffs identified in this manner usually had law enforcement responsibilities in the unincorporated areas of the county. Of the 411 counties selected, 264 counties also had trial court administrators. These administrators were typically responsible for the administration and management of the court, relieving judges of these activities and providing them with more time to concentrate on cases. Judges and trial court administrators received identical survey instruments. An accompanying letter asked both the judge and administrator to complete individual surveys because of the different perspectives of the two functions. A total of 546 surveys were mailed to probation and parole agencies, with the same questions asked of state and local officers. Counties that had separate agencies for probation and parole were sent two surveys.

Sample:   Surveys were sent to criminal justice agencies in a sample of 411 counties. All 211 United States counties having populations greater than 250,000 residents were selected, along with a random sample of 200 counties having populations between 50,000 and 250,000 residents. Police chiefs were selected by determining the city in each county with the highest population according to the 1990 Census. Over 50 percent of the counties were represented by either a judge or trial court administrator. Prison facilities were selected for the NAP survey by reviewing the directory of correctional facilities, 1993 AMERICAN CORRECTIONAL ASSOCIATION DIRECTORY: JUVENILE AND ADULT CORRECTIONAL DEPARTMENTS, INSTITUTIONS, AGENCIES AND PAROLING AUTHORITIES (American Correctional Association, Laurel, Maryland). Adult male and female prison facilities at all security levels were included in the sample.

Data Source:

self-enumerated questionnaires

Description of Variables:   All survey instruments were divided into sections on workload (except that the wardens, jail administrators, and corrections commissioners were sent a section on jail use and crowding instead), staffing, operations and procedures, and background. The staffing section of each survey queried respondents on recruitment, retention, training, and number of staff. The other sections varied from instrument to instrument, with questions tailored to the responsibilities of the particular agency. Most of the questionnaires asked about use of automated information systems, programs, policies, or aspects of the facility or security needing improvement, agency responsibilities and jurisdictions, factors contributing to workload increases, budget, number of fulltime employees and other staff, and contracted services. Questions specific to police chiefs and sheriffs included activities aimed at drug problems and whether they anticipated increases in authorized strength in officers. Jail administrators, corrections commissioners, and wardens were asked about factors contributing to jail crowding, alternatives to jail, medical services offered, drug testing and drug-related admissions, and inmate classification. Topics covered by the surveys for prosecutors, public defenders, judges, and state and trial court administrators included types of cases handled, case timeliness, diversion and sentencing alternatives, and court and jury management. State and local probation and parole agency directors were asked about diagnostic tools, contracted services, and drug testing. Attorneys general were queried about operational issues, statutory authority, and legal services and support provided to state and local criminal justice agencies.

Response Rates:   Response rates for the local criminal justice agencies were as follows: police chiefs -- 82.2 percent, sheriffs -- 76.4 percent, jail administrators -- 77.0 percent, prosecutors -- 66.4 percent, public defenders - 60.4 percent, trial court administrators -- 56.8 percent, judges -- 44.4 percent, and probation and parole agencies -- 67.2 percent. Response rates for the state criminal justice agencies were: state court administrators -- 68.6 percent, attorneys general -- 78.4 percent, state probation and parole agencies -- 87.1 percent, corrections commissioners -- 84.3 percent, and wardens -- 76.8 percent. The response rate for the total NAP survey was 69.1 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:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

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