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.

Termination of Criminal Careers: Measurement of Rates and Their Determinants in Detroit SMSA, 1974-1977 (ICPSR 9666)

Principal Investigator(s): Cohen, Jacqueline; Blumstein, Alfred


The purpose of this collection was to measure the length of criminal careers and to correlate these lengths with other characteristics such as age, race, sex, type of crimes committed, and frequency of prior arrests. Determining the length of criminal activity and its relation to other attributes is important in planning for services such as prison space. Because of the difficulty in directly monitoring illegal acts, arrests were used instead as an indicator of criminal activity. Arrest data were gathered for murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and automobile theft. Using the first arrest as an adult which took place between 1974 and 1977 as a reference point, individuals' prior and continued activities were followed. The data provide basic demographic information about offenders and extensive information about arrests, from arrest charges through final disposition.

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.


DS1:  Data File - Download All Files (24.493 MB)
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DS2:  SAS Data Definition Statements - Download All Files (0.493 MB)

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Study Description


Cohen, Jacqueline, and Alfred Blumstein. TERMINATION OF CRIMINAL CAREERS: MEASUREMENT OF RATES AND THEIR DETERMINANTS IN DETROIT SMSA, 1974-1977. ICPSR version. Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon University, School of Urban and Public Affairs [producer], 1989. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1994.

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (86-IJ-CX-0047)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    arrests, assault, auto theft, burglary, career criminals, criminal histories, murder, rape, robbery

Geographic Coverage:    Detroit, Michigan, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1926--1982

Universe:    Adults aged 17 years and older who, between January 1, 1974, and December 31, 1977, were arrested for the following offenses: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, or auto theft.

Data Type(s):    administrative records data

Data Collection Notes:

This is a hierarchical dataset consisting of person and arrest records. The person records provide information about the offender and consist of seven variables. The arrest records provide information on each offender's arrest incidents and are made up of 53 variables. These two types of records are grouped in the file sequentially by offender. In all, there are 21,004 person records and 123,535 arrest records in the data file.


Data Source:

computerized criminal history file maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation

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:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   1992-01-10

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