Survey of Adults on Probation, 1995: [United States] (ICPSR 2039)

Published: Mar 30, 2006 View help for published

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics

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The 1995 Survey of Adults on Probation (SAP) was the first national survey to gather information on the individual characteristics of adult probationers. The SAP was a two-part nationally representative survey consisting of a records check based on probation office administrative records and personal interviews with probationers. The records check provided detailed information for 5,867 probationers on current offenses and sentences, criminal histories, levels of supervision and contacts, disciplinary hearings and outcomes, and demographic characteristics. Only adults with a formal sentence to probation who were not considered absconders were included in the records check. Excluded were persons supervised by a federal probation agency, those only on parole, persons on presentence or pretrial diversion, juveniles, and absconders. The records check forms were completed by a probation officer or by another person knowledgeable about probation office records. A subset of the population selected for the records check was selected for a personal interview, resulting in a total of 2,030 completed interviews. The personal interview sample excluded from the records check sample probationers not on active probation (defined as being required to make office visits at any interval), those incarcerated, and those in residential treatment. Respondents were asked about current offense(s) and supervision, criminal history, alcohol and drug use and treatment, mental health treatment, demographic characteristics, and a variety of socioeconomic characteristics such as employment, income, receipt of welfare, housing, number of children and child support, and living conditions while growing up.

United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Survey of Adults on Probation, 1995:  [United States]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-03-30.

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics
1994-12 -- 1995-09

The codebook is provided as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided through the ICPSR Website on the Internet.

The records check sample was selected from a universe of 2,627 state, county, and municipal probation agencies with a total of 2,618,132 formally sentenced probationers. The sample design was a stratified two-stage selection. In the first stage, probation agencies were stratified into 16 strata defined by government branch (executive or judicial) and level (state or local), and census region (Northeast, Midwest, South, or West). The 43 largest probation agencies were made self-representing and were selected into the sample with certainty. The remaining 2,584 probation agencies were not self-representing and were grouped within strata into 122 roughly equal-size clusters. One agency was selected from each of the 122 clusters, with probability of selection proportional to size, for a total of 165 agencies. From the records check sample, 4,703 probationers were selected for personal interviews, which made up the second survey component. Because probationers on inactive supervision were excluded from the personal interview sample, the personal interview component represents a somewhat smaller share of the nation's probationers (2,065,896) than the records check (2,620,560). For the personal interview sample, 122 of the 206 agencies originally selected for the records check were chosen. The 43 largest self-representing agencies were selected with certainty. Of the 122 clusters of agencies that were not self-representing, 79 were selected, using a systematic sample. Excluding agencies in the sample that would only participate in the records checks resulted in a total of 101 probation offices in which interviews were conducted.

The universe came from the 1991 Census of Probation and Parole Agencies and included agencies that supervised adult felons on probation only, adult misdemeanants on probation only, and both adult felons and misdemeanants.

criminal records from state, county, and municipal probation agencies, and personal interviews

survey data, and administrative records data



2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • U.S. Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. SURVEY OF ADULTS ON PROBATION, 1995: [UNITED STATES]. Conducted by U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. ICPSR ed. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [producer and distributor], 1999.

2006-03-30 File CB2039.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.

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.

1999-08-18 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.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


  • 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.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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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.