The Source for Crime and Justice Data

National Indigent Criminal Defense Survey, 1982 (ICPSR 8417)

Principal Investigator(s):


This survey was conducted to provide national-level data on basic information such as system types, funding sources, costs, and caseloads of indigent defense programs for defense practitioners, policymakers, and planners in the criminal justice system. The goal of the survey was to provide data that could begin to answer questions regarding the nature and scope of indigent service delivery. Specifically, the three basic objectives were to provide descriptive data, to assess the level of response to defense service delivery requirements, and to facilitate further research.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  County Data - Download All Files (0.7 MB)
DS2:  Preliminary Program Data - Download All Files (3 MB)
DS3:  Conflict Program Data - Download All Files (1 MB)

Study Description


Abt Associates. National Indigent Criminal Defense Survey, 1982. ICPSR08417-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1999.

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

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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:   caseloads, criminal justice system, defense (law), legal aid, legal representation, public defenders

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1982

Date of Collection:  

  • 1983

Universe:   Indigent defense programs in the United States.

Data Types:   survey data


Sample:   Stratified random sample based on county population size, as reported in the 1980 Census of Population.

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.


Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2006-03-30 File CB8417.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 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.
  • 1999-02-17 Each of the three data files has been completely reprocessed to logical record length format. Also, the codebooks for each file have been combined into a single PDF codebook covering all parts. The SPSS data definition statements have been updated to reflect the changes, and SAS data definition statements have been added.

Related Publications ?

    Spangenberg, Robert L.,  Kapuscinski, Judy,  Smith, Patricia A. Criminal Defense for the Poor, 1986. Bureau of Justice Statistics Bulletin. NCJ 112919, Washington, DC: United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
    Full Text Options: PDF
    Export Options: RIS/EndNote
    Spangenberg, Robert L.,  Lee, Beverly,  Battaglia, Michael,  Smith, Patricia,  Davis, A. David . National Criminal Defense Systems Study. Final Report. NCJ 94702, Washington, DC: United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
    Full Text Options: PDF
    Export Options: RIS/EndNote
    Gaskins, Carla K. Criminal Defense Systems - A National Survey. Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report. NCJ 94630, Washington, DC: United States of Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
    Full Text Options: PDF
    Export Options: RIS/EndNote



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