The Source for Crime and Justice Data

National Survey of Court Organization, 1971-1972 (ICPSR 7640)

Principal Investigator(s):


The purpose of this study was to document the existing organization of courts in the 50 states and the District of Columbia as of 1971-1972. The survey covers all appellate courts, courts of general jurisdiction, special courts, and other courts of limited jurisdiction. Excluded were justices of the peace and similar magistrates whose compensation is solely on a direct fee basis, and courts of limited or special jurisdiction located in municipalities or townships with a 1960 population of less than 1,000. The data for courts include information on the organization of the court, geographic location, type of court, level of government administering the court, number, types, and full- or part-time status of judicial and other personnel, method of appealing cases, location of court records, and types of statistics. Court subdivision variables cover organization of the courts, geographic location, type of court, level of government administering the court, types of jurisdiction, percentage of judges' time spent on types of cases, availability of jury trials, and length of sentence and amounts of fines which may be imposed by the court.

Access Notes

  • These data are available to the general public.


Data File - Download All Files (30.8 MB)
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Study Description


United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics. National Survey of Court Organization, 1971-1972. ICPSR07640-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1996.

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice
  • United States Department of Commerce. Bureau of the Census
  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   court cases, court system, criminal justice system

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1971--1972

Data Types:   survey data

Data Collection Notes:

This study was conducted for the Bureau of Justice Statistics (formerly the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration) by the Governments Division of the United States Census Bureau.

Data and documentation were originally prepared by the Center for Advanced Computation, University of Illinois, Urbana.


Data Source:

self-enumerated forms

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.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


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.
  • 1996-11-21 SAS and SPSS data definition statements are now available for this collection.

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