Survey of Inmates of State Correctional Facilities, 1986: [United States] (ICPSR 8711)

Principal Investigator(s): United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics


This data collection provides information about topics and issues of concern in research and policy within the field of corrections. Chief among these are the characteristics of persons confined to state prisons, their current and past offenses, and the circumstances or conditions of their confinement. Also included is extensive information on inmates' drug and alcohol use, program participation, and the victims of the inmates' most recent offenses. This information, which is not available on a national basis from any other source, is intended to assist the criminal justice community and other researchers in analysis and evaluation of correctional issues.

Series: Survey of Inmates of State and Federal Correctional Facilities Series

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:  Main Data File - Download All Files (247.016 MB) large file
SAS    SPSS    Stata    ASCII   
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
DS2:  SAS Data Definition Statements - Download All Files (0.853 MB)

ASCII + SAS Setup   

Study Description


United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Survey of Inmates of State Correctional Facilities, 1986: [United States]. ICPSR08711-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1994.

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. Bureau of Justice Statistics (1121-0116)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    correctional facilities, correctional facilities (adults), corrections, criminal histories, drug abuse, inmate classification, inmate deaths, inmate populations, inmate programs, inmates, offenses, prison conditions, substance abuse, treatment programs

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1986

Date of Collection:   

  • 1986

Universe:    All adult inmates housed in correctional facilities operated by a state government in the United States.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The codebook includes a summary of errors and omissions that have been identified as of this release. This list is not definitive and there may be other as yet unidentified inconsistencies in the dataset. Users are requested to notify ICPSR if they encounter serious data errors.


Sample:    The sample design employed was a stratified two-stage selection with the probabilities proportional to the size of the correctional facility. The sample was selected independently from two frames, one for males only and a second that allowed an oversample of females. Within each frame, facilities were stratified by type (prison versus community corrections facility) and by census region. In the second stage, interviewers visited each selected facility and drew a sample of inmates using predetermined sampling procedures. There were 275 facilities selected, yielding a sample of about 15,000 inmates. Of these, 14,649 were contacted and 13,711 were interviewed successfully.

Data Source:

personal interviews

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


Original ICPSR Release:   1988-10-25

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.

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