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.

Effects of Prior Record in Sentencing Research in a Large Northeastern City, 1968-1979: [United States] (ICPSR 8929)

Principal Investigator(s): Welch, Susan; Spohn, Cassia


This data collection examines the impact of defendants' prior criminal records on the sentencing of male and female defendants committing violent and non-violent crimes. The collection also provides data on which types of prior records most influenced the sentencing judges. Variables deal specifically with the defendant, the judge and the characteristics of the current case. Only cases that fell into one of 14 categories of common offenses were included. These offenses were murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, assault, minor assault, burglary, auto theft, embezzlement, receiving stolen property, forgery, sex offenses other than rape, drug possession, and driving while intoxicated.

Access Notes

  • 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.


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Study Description


Welch, Susan, and Cassia Spohn. EFFECTS OF PRIOR RECORD IN SENTENCING RESEARCH IN A LARGE NORTHEASTERN CITY, 1968-1979: [UNITED STATES]. Lincoln, NE: Susan Welch and Cassia Spohn, University of Nebraska [producers], 198?. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1988.

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (84-IJ-CX-0035)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    arrests, assault, auto theft, burglary, crime, criminal justice system, court system, defendants, drug law offenses, judges, murder, rape, robbery, sentencing, violence

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1968--1979

Universe:    All defendants in felony cases heard between 1968 and 1979 in a large northeastern city of the United States.

Data Type(s):    event/transaction data


Sample:    Random sample of convicted defendants selected from a larger sample. The sample was stratified by the gender of the judge with sampling fractions of .2 for male judges and 1.0 for female judges, yielding a large number of female judges in the final sample.

Data Source:

court records


Original ICPSR Release:   1988-10-25

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