Effects of Sentences on Subsequent Criminal Behavior in New Jersey, 1976-1977 (ICPSR 8986)

Principal Investigator(s): McCarthy, Jack; Smith, D. Randall; Smith, William R.


This data collection examines the effects of sentencing on offenders' subsequent criminal behaviors. The data address the following questions: (1) At what point in the criminal career is the criminal career interrupted or halted by the criminal justice system because the offender is "taken off the streets?" (2) How long is the criminal career interrupted as a result of intervention from the criminal justice system? (3) How significant are the effects of past criminal behavior, as opposed to offender characteristics, such as education, employment history, or drug use, on criminal behavior subsequent to sentencing? (4) How do the effects of sentencing differ among offenders according to background, criminal history, and offense? Special characteristics of the collection include detailed information on the demographic and psychological background of defendants, a description of the offenses and the victims, and criminal recidivism information for adult defendants. More specifically, the sentence file contains data on the defendant's family, educational background, psychological condition, social activities, financial status, employment history, substance abuse, prior and follow-up criminal records, sentence and correctional histories, and other disposition information. The event file provides data on arrest and court appearances as well as data on incarcerations, escapes, transfers, releases, paroles, and furloughs.

Access Notes

  • One or more data files in this study are set up in a non-standard format, such as card image format. Users may need help converting these files before they can be used for analysis.

  • The 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.


DS1:  Sentence File - Download All Files (40.819 MB)
DS2:  Event File - Download All Files (46.78 MB)

Study Description


McCarthy, Jack, D. Randall Smith, and William R. Smith. EFFECTS OF SENTENCES ON SUBSEQUENT CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR IN NEW JERSEY, 1976-1977. 2nd ICPSR release. Los Altos, CA: Sociometrics Corporation [producer], 1992. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1993. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR08986.v2

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR08986.v2

Export Citation:

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  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (85-IJ-CX-0005)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    career criminals, criminal histories, criminal justice system, criminality, intervention, offender profiles, recidivism, sentencing

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1976-10--1977-09

Date of Collection:   

  • 1985--1987

Universe:    All court cases heard in the New Jersey State Court from October 1976 to September 1977.

Data Type(s):    event/transaction data


Sample:    Court cases involving robbery, burglary, or drug offenses were selected for the sample.

Data Source:

(1) New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts official records, (2) computerized criminal history files maintained by the New Jersey Department of Systems and Communication, and (3) Offender-Based Correctional Information maintained by the Department of Corrections.


Original ICPSR Release:   1989-03-03

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