National Corrections Reporting Program Resource Guide
About the National Corrections Reporting Program (NCRP)
The National Corrections Reporting Program (NCRP) was conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics to provide a consistent and comprehensive description of convicted persons' entrance into and departure from correctional custody and correctional supervision. To accomplish this goal, data were gathered from official state prison records on topics such as race, sex, and age of inmates, length of time in jail, length of time in prison, and type of offense committed. The data were collected from the state prison systems of most of the United States, as well as the Federal Prison System, the California Youth Authority, and the District of Columbia.
The National Prisoner Statistics (NPS) program was established in 1926 by the Bureau of the Census in response to a congressional mandate to compile national information on the populations confined in correctional institutions. This program described the characteristics and counts of prison inmates during each calendar year. Since its initiation, responsibility for this program has shifted among several agencies--in 1950 it was transferred to the Federal Bureau of Prisons and to the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration in 1971. Since 1972, the Bureau of Census, under agreement with the Department of Justice, has had responsibility for compiling the statistical data. Census staff negotiates directly with each state, assembles and edits the data, and prepares the data for analysis and publication.
In 1966 the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD), with funds from the National Institute of Mental Health, implemented the Uniform Parole Reports (UPR) as an experimental project. At that time, UPR was limited to gathering parole outcome data from selected state parole boards but was eventually expanded into an ongoing program collecting statistics which describe parole populations nationwide. Funding by the National Criminal Justice Information and Statistics Service (renamed the BJS in 1980) has been in effect since 1973. Since 1983, the Bureau of the Census has had responsibility for collecting parole data.
In 1983 the National Prisoner Statistics program on admissions and releases (NPS) and the Uniform Parole Reports (UPR) were combined into one reporting system, the National Corrections Reporting Program (NCRP). The NCRP evolved from the need to improve and consolidate data on corrections at the national-level. Its objective is to provide a consistent and comprehensive description of prisoners entering and leaving the custody or supervision of state and federal authorities.
The NCRP is sponsored by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), U.S. Department of Justice. The United States Bureau of the Census acts as the data collection agent. The National Corrections Reporting Program is a calendar year report covering the dates January 1 through December 31. Not all states report every year. A list of the participating states can be found in variable V94, "State identifier." Data refer only to those prisoners admitted to prison, released from prison, or released from parole.
Using the Resource Guide
The National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), a part of the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan, designed this Resource Guide for World Wide Web users to learn about the National Corrections Reporting Program dataset and to connect to other corrections information sources.
With this guide, first time users or experienced analysts can:
- Find general information about the National Corrections Reporting Program.
- Connect to other National Corrections Reporting Program - related sites.
- Download all of the National Corrections Reporting Program data files, codebook, and SPSS and SAS data definition statement files.
National Corrections Reporting Program data are available from the ICPSR in a rectangular format.
There are three parts in the National Corrections Reporting Program. Part 1 contains Prison Admissions data; Part 2 contains Prison Release data, and Part 3 contains Parole Release data. ICPSR has also prepared SPSS and SAS data definition statements for the data file. The SPSS data definition statements file contains the following sections: data list, variable labels value labels, missing value and missing value recode statements. The SAS data definition file contains these sections: proc format, input, label, format, and missing value recode statements.
NCRP Concepts and Definitions
The NCRP applied uniform measurement rules to the data from the states, using the following concepts and definitions.
A prison was defined as a state or federal correctional facility having custodial authority over persons sentenced to confinement.
- Calendar Year Reporting
NCRP collected data for the total number of admissions to prisons, releases from prison and releases from parole for the dates January 1 through December 31. Data were not collected on a fiscal year basis. Records were rejected on individuals if the year of prison admission, prison release or parole release was not reported.
- Custody Criteria for Prison Admissions and Releases
The NCRP collected data on all prisoners admitted or released while under the physical custody of state correctional authorities. The NCRP data included prisoners under the immediate control of state authorities, regardless of the jurisdiction in which the prisoners were originally sentenced.
Starting in 1983, all sentenced inmates were counted including those with sentences of a year or less. Prisoners sentenced to a state prison, but admitted to or released from the custody of a local jail, were also included in the NCRP.
- Jurisdiction Criteria for Parole Releases
Parole release information was reported for those offenders under the jurisdiction of the paroling authority. Jurisdiction was determined by the legal authority controlling the offender's release from parole supervision, rather than by the authority assuming physical custody of the offender. Parole jurisdiction was defined, for NCRP purposes, as that agency having primary responsibility for supervising of an offender who was conditionally released from prison after having served a portion of the original sentence. The paroling agency has jurisdiction over an offender if it has the legal power to revoke the parole or to decide when parole supervision is to be terminated.
- Prisoner Movements
The NCRP included prisoner movements that increased or decreased the custody counts of each reporting state. Additions to the custody count, such as the arrival of new inmates, the return to prison of parole violators, and transfers from other jurisdictions, were classified as admission movements. Removals from custody, such as the release of those completing their sentences, the release to parole and death, were considered release movements. Multiple admissions or releases per person during the year were recorded as separate movements.
- Parole and Mandatory Parole Release
Parole signifies the status of an offender who is conditionally released from prison to community supervision. An offender is required to observe the conditions of parole and is under the supervision of a parole agency. Parole differs from probation: unlike parole, probation is determined by judicial authority and is usually an alternative to confinement. Offenders conditionally released from prison to parole are classified in the NCRP as parole admissions movements.
The NCRP also includes mandatory parole release, i.e., those persons released from prison to parole supervision by virtue of statutes that determine the length of time prisoners are incarcerated. Unlike other prisoners released to parole these prisoners were not released as a result of a parole board decision. Offenders released from the jurisdiction of a parole authority were classified as parole release movements. Types of release movements included completion of parole, revocation, absconding, transfer and death.
Other National Corrections Reporting Program Resources
Bureau of Justice Statistics: Corrections Statistics
Bureau of Justice Statistics: Courts and Sentencing Statistics
Office of Justice Programs: Corrections
Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics
National Criminal Justice Reference Service: Corrections
American Correctional Association
The link below will search the ICPSR citations database for citations of publications with "National Corrections Reporting Program" in the title. Users can create their own searches or browse the citations database through our Publications Bibliography.
NCRP data from 1983 through 1995 are available on CD-ROM from the National Criminal Justice Reference Service.
Search for NCRP Publications