National Archive of Criminal Justice Data

This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

New Jersey Statewide Criminal Justice Guidelines Evaluation, 1979 (ICPSR 7910)

Principal Investigator(s): Sparks, Richard F.


This data collection is the result of a project established to study the development, implementation, and use of statewide sentencing guidelines and to report the perceptions of criminal justice system personnel and inmates regarding those guidelines. Funded by the National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, the project was carried out by the Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice from October 1978 to June 1981. Additional data produced by this project are contained in two other studies held by ICPSR: MASSACHUSETTS STATEWIDE STATEWIDE CRIMINAL JUSTICE GUIDELINES EVALUATION, 1979: SENTENCTING DATA (ICPSR 7909) and NEW JERSEY STATEWIDE CRIMINAL JUSTICE GUIDELINES EVALUATION, 1980: INMATE SURVEY DATA (ICPSR 7911). The data in this study is contained in two files. It consists of interviews to determine the opinions of inmates about the relative seriousness of offenses, severity of punishments, appropriateness of penalties for various kinds of crimes, and the use of sentencing guidelines to structure judicial sentencing decisions. Part 1, Inmate Background Data, contains socioeconomic, residential, and current and prior criminal history information in a random sample of 226 Rahway, New Jersey, State Prison inmates. Background information was collected for all of the inmates selected to participate in the 1979 New Jersey inmate survey. However, not all of those inmates selected agreed to be interviewed when the actual survey was conducted. Therefore, Part 1 includes information on survey respondents and nonrespondents. Part 2, Inmate Survey Data, contains information on 146 inmates. Frequency distributions and the survey instrument are included in the documentation.

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.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Inmate Background Data - Download All Files (8.81 MB)
DS2:  Inmate Survey Data - Download All Files (8.85 MB)

Study Description


Sparks, Richard F. New Jersey Statewide Criminal Justice Guidelines Evaluation, 1979. ICPSR07910-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1982.

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. Law Enforcement Assistance Administration. National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice (78-NI-AX-0147)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    attitudes, crime, criminal histories, criminal justice system, defendants, disposition (legal), inmates, offender profiles, offenders, offenses, place of residence, punishment, sentencing, sentencing guidelines, socioeconomic status, state correctional facilities, state courts

Geographic Coverage:    New Jersey, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1979

Date of Collection:   

  • 1979-06

Universe:    Rahway, New Jersey, State Prison inmates in 1979.

Data Type(s):    survey data


Sample:    The sample was obtained by dividing inmates in either minimum and maximum/medium security status, and then randomly sampling within these two frames, selecting a higher proportion of inmates under minimum security to compensate for their relative rarity.

Data Source:

personal interviews


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-03-18

Version History:

  • 2006-01-18 File CB7910.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.

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