United Nations World Surveys on Crime Trends and Criminal Justice Systems, 1970-1994: Restructured Five-Wave Data (ICPSR 2513)

Published: Mar 30, 2006

Principal Investigator(s):
R.W. Burnham, United States Department of Justice. National Institute of Justice; Helen Burnham, United States Department of Justice. National Institute of Justice

Series:

https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02513.v1

Version V1

The United Nations International Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch began the Surveys of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (formerly known as the World Crime Surveys) in 1978. The goal of the data collection effort was to conduct a more focused inquiry into the incidence of crime worldwide. To date, there have been five quinquennial surveys, covering the years 1970-1975, 1975-1980, 1980-1986, 1986-1990, and 1990-1994, respectively. Starting with the 1980 data, the waves overlap by one year to allow for reliability and validity checks of the data. For this data collection, the original United Nations data were restructured into a standard contemporary file structure, with each file consisting of all data for one year. Naming conventions were standardized, and each country and each variable was given a unique identifying number. Crime variables include counts of recorded crime for homicide, assault, rape, robbery, theft, burglary, fraud, embezzlement, drug trafficking, drug possession, bribery, and corruption. There are also counts of suspects, persons prosecuted, persons convicted, and prison admissions by crime, gender, and adult or juvenile status. Other variables include the population of the country and largest city, budgets and salaries for police, courts, and prisons, and types of sanctions, including imprisonment, corporal punishment, deprivation of liberty, control of freedom, warning, fine, and community sentence. The countries participating in the survey and the variables available vary by year.

Burnham, R.W., and Burnham, Helen. United Nations World Surveys on Crime Trends and Criminal Justice Systems, 1970-1994: Restructured Five-Wave Data. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-03-30. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02513.v1

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (97-MU-CX-0002)

1970 -- 1994

1997

(1) The user guide, codebooks, and data collection instruments are provided as Portable Document Format (PDF) files. 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 on the ICPSR Web site. (2) While the United Nations International Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch originally collected these data, this particular data collection is not an official product of the United Nations. For more information on the original United Nations data, users are advised to consult the United Nations Crime and Justice Information Network.

The United Nations International Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch began the Surveys of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (formerly known as the World Crime Surveys) in 1978. The goal of the data collection effort was to conduct a more focused inquiry into the incidence of crime worldwide. To date, there have been five quinquennial surveys, covering the years 1970-1975, 1975-1980, 1980-1986, 1986-1990, and 1990-1994, respectively. Starting with 1980, the waves overlap by one year to allow for reliability and validity checks of the data. For this data collection, the file structure and naming conventions were standardized across waves to facilitate cross-national comparisons and other analyses.

This data collection reconfigured the original United Nations data into a standard contemporary file structure, with each file consisting of all data for one year. The data received from the United Nations were entered into a computerized dataset, using SAS on a mainframe for the second survey and SPSS PC+ for the third and subsequent waves. Each country and each variable was given a unique identifying number. Some of the variables in the original dataset were not maintained in this version, because the principal investigators decided that they had no value or potential for analysis. This applies particularly to the first three surveys, where some variables were difficult to interpret and others contained almost no data. The original datasets, in the original configuration, are held by the United Nations office in Vienna, and can be requested by anyone with a particular interest in any of the variables omitted from this collection.

The surveys were distributed to member and nonmember states of the United Nations and completed on a voluntary basis.

All countries.

Countries.

(1) FIRST UNITED NATIONS WORLD CRIME SURVEY, 1970-1975, (2) SECOND UNITED NATIONS SURVEY OF CRIME TRENDS, OPERATIONS OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEMS, AND CRIME PREVENTION STRATEGIES, 1975-1980, (3) THIRD UNITED NATIONS SURVEY OF CRIME TRENDS, OPERATIONS OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEMS, AND CRIME PREVENTION STRATEGIES, 1980-1986, (4) FOURTH UNITED NATIONS SURVEY OF CRIME TRENDS AND OPERATIONS OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEMS, 1986-1990, (5) FIFTH UNITED NATIONS SURVEY OF CRIME TRENDS AND OPERATIONS OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEMS, 1990-1994, all conducted by the United Nations International Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch

aggregate data

Crime variables include counts of recorded crime for homicide, assault, rape, robbery, theft, burglary, fraud, embezzlement, drug trafficking, drug possession, bribery, and corruption. There are also counts of suspects, persons prosecuted, persons convicted, and prison admissions by crime, gender, and adult or juvenile status. Other variables include the population of the country and largest city, budgets and salaries for police, courts, and prisons, and types of sanctions, including imprisonment, corporal punishment, deprivation of liberty, control of freedom, warning, fine, and community sentence.

Not applicable.

None.

1999-04-30

2006-03-30

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.

1999-04-30 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.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

2006-03-30 File UG2513.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.

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.

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

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.