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.

Use and Effectiveness of Fines, Jail, and Probation in Municipal Courts in Los Angeles County, 1981-1984 (ICPSR 9742)

Principal Investigator(s): Glaser, Daniel; Gordon, Margaret A.


The purpose of this data collection was to identify those attributes of offenders that are most often associated with receiving particular types of financial penalties along with probation, such as fines, restitution, and cost of probation. A further purpose was to estimate the relative effectiveness of these penalties in preventing recidivism. Variables include descriptions of the type of offense and penalties received, the location of the court where sentencing took place, and information about the individual's race, age, gender, level of education, employment, living arrangements, and financial status. Prior arrests and convictions are included, as are arrests, convictions, and penalties subsequent to the original case under study. Also provided are six sets of variables that describe all offenders within each conviction category. These six groups provide additional information about the offender's background and behavior. The conviction categories include assault, burglary, drug crimes, driving under the influence, theft, and indecent exposure.

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


Glaser, Daniel, and Margaret A. Gordon. USE AND EFFECTIVENESS OF FINES, JAIL, AND PROBATION IN MUNICIPAL COURTS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY, 1981-1984. ICPSR version. Los Altos, CA: Sociometrics Corporation [producer], 1992. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1999.

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. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (86-IJ-CX-0028)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    criminal histories, fines, imprisonment, municipal courts, offender profiles, offenders, probation, restitution programs, sentencing

Geographic Coverage:    California, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1981-01--1984-12

Date of Collection:   

  • 1986

Universe:    All Los Angeles County Department of Probation cases of assault, burglary, theft, drug crime, indecent exposure, and driving under the influence.

Data Type(s):    event/transaction data

Data Collection Notes:

The codebook is provided as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file.


Sample:    The data were compiled from the files of the Los Angeles County Department of Probation for closed probation cases from the county's municipal courts. Of the original 21,983 cases, 454 were disqualified because they opened before 1981 or because the case was dismissed. The 21,529 eligible cases were divided into six categories of conviction. All cases of offenders convicted of indecent exposure were included. From each of the remaining five conviction types, a random sample was drawn.

Data Source:

Los Angeles County Department of Probation case records, supervision records, criminal record sheets, and financial penalty payment records

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:

  • Standardized missing values.


Original ICPSR Release:   1993-05-13

Version History:

  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.
  • 1999-12-14 SAS and SPSS data definition statements and a PDF version of the codebook have been added to this collection.

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