Research on Pathways to Desistance [Maricopa County, AZ and Philadelphia County, PA]: Official Arrest Records, 2000-2010 [Restricted] (ICPSR 34605)

Published: Jul 24, 2014

Principal Investigator(s):
Edward P. Mulvey, University of Pittsburgh


Version V2

Pathways to Desistance (Official Arrest Records)

The Pathways to Desistance study was a multi-site study that followed 1,354 serious juvenile offenders from adolescence to young adulthood in two locales between the years 2000 and 2010. Enrolled into the study were adjudicated youths from the juvenile and adult court systems in Maricopa County (Phoenix), Arizona (N=654), and Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania (N=700).

The official arrests records of all 1,354 youth were obtained from multiple sources. For arrest/petitions under the age of 18, this information is based on petitions appearing in the juvenile and adult court records in each site. In Philadelphia, this information was gathered based on a hand review of juvenile and adult court documents; in Phoenix, the information is based on reports from two computerized court tracking systems (JOLTS--Juvenile On-Line Tracking System for juvenile court information, ICIS--Maricopa County Superior Court database for adult court information). For arrests/petitions over 18, FBI arrest records are the source of information. There is no self-reported information contained in this set of data.

Information from these different data sources is consolidated into the following categories:

  1. Information regarding petitions with a date that falls prior to the baseline interview date ("prior petitions").
  2. Information regarding the study index petition (also called the "initial referring petition"; this is the adjudication that prompted study enrollment). Information regarding the study index petition can be found by accessing the "type" variable associated with the prior petitions (specific variable name: Official Record Prior PetitionXX: Petition type). Depending on the investigator's needs, this petition can remain combined with the "priors" or be used as a stand-alone petition.
  3. Information regarding arrests and court petitions with a date which falls after the baseline interview date in the Pathways study ("rearrests").

Mulvey, Edward P. Research on Pathways to Desistance [Maricopa County, AZ and Philadelphia County, PA]: Official Arrest Records, 2000-2010 [Restricted]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2014-07-24.

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Arizona Governor's Justice Commission (JBISA01224400)

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (2001-J05-011944, 2002-J04-13032, 2003-J04-14560, 2004-J04-15849, 2005-J04-17071, 2006-J04-18272)

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (043357)

United States Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01 DA019697 01 - 05)

United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (1999-IJ-CX-0053, 2008-IJ-CX-0023)

United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (2000-MU-MU-0007, 2005-JK-FX-K001, 2007-MU-FX-0002)

William Penn Foundation

William T. Grant Foundation (99-2009-099)

Access to the Pathways Official Records data is restricted. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement, specify the reasons for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

2000 -- 2010

More information about the Pathways series is available on the Pathways to Desistance Web site.

For information specifically concerning Official Arrest Records view its codebook page on the Pathways Web site.

Other contributors to the Pathways to Desistance study:

  • Carol A. Schubert, University of Pittsburgh (Study Director)
  • Laurie Chassin, Ph.D., Arizona State University (Co-Investigator)
  • George P. Knight, Ph.D., Arizona State University (Co-Investigator)
  • Sandra Losoya, Ph.D., Arizona State University (Site Coordinator)
  • Laurence Steinberg, Ph.D., Temple University (Co-Investigator)
  • Robert Brame, Ph.D., University of North Carolina-Charlotte
  • Elizabeth Cauffman, Ph.D., University of California-Irvine (Co-Investigator)
  • Jeffrey Fagan, Ph.D., Columbia University
  • Alex Piquero, Ph.D., Florida State University

There are multiple ID variables in the dataset serving different purposes.

  • LINEID: A variable to order the dataset and return the file to its original order.
  • CASEID: The subject's assigned ID number used throughout the Pathways studies.

Longitudinal: Panel

Youths 14-19 years of age from the juvenile and adult court systems in Maricopa County (Phoenix), Arizona, and Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania from November 2000 to April 2003.


administrative records data

There are essentially 11 variables associated with each prior and rearrest petition/arrest:

  1. Petition type (prior, initial referring or rearrest)
  2. Source of information (court records or FBI)
  3. Text description of the most serious charge on the petition/arrest
  4. The offense grade for the most serious charge
  5. A severity ranking for the charge
  6. Person crime (e.g., aggravated assault, murder)
  7. Property crime (e.g., robbery, receiving stolen property)
  8. Weapons offense (e.g., possession of an unlicensed firearm
  9. Sex offense (e.g., rape, involuntary deviant sexual intercourse)
  10. Drug offense (e.g., possession of a controlled substance with intent to delivery)
  11. Substance use (e.g., drug paraphernalia, possession)

These last six variables are binary markers (Yes/No) to show what other charges appear on the petition/arrest record. They were provided since specific charge information is only available for the charge with the highest severity.

The 11 variables noted above repeat for the maximum number of prior petitions (max=15) and rearrests (max=24) for the study participants. Most study participants won't have data in all fields since the majority do not reach the maximum. The average number of prior petitions is three and the average number of rearrests is four; therefore, information in variables associated with priors and rearrests above those numbers will be set to missing for the majority of cases.

Several additional variables related to the study index petition are available. The study enrollment criteria specified that participants must have been adjudicated (found guilty) for a serious charge (not just charged with one). As a result, for the study index petition, a text description of the most serious adjudicated charge is provided as well as the grade and category for that charge. In some, but not all, cases, the most serious adjudicated charge will be the same as the charge with the highest severity ranking. Information regarding the disposition related to the study index petition is also provided.

The file ends with a series of variables that provide the number of arrests that occurred in equal 6 month intervals through the end of the 84-month follow-up period for the study. For waves 1-6 (6-36 months), these intervals match the period of time included in the self report interview information. However, for waves 7-10, the interview recall period was 12 months in length and, therefore, the counts of official record arrests will need to be combined if the investigator wishes to align this data with the self report information. For example, in order to line up with the interview recall period represented in wave 7, the official record number of arrests for 36-42 and 42-48 will need to be combined. In order to line up the self report information for wave 8, the arrest counts for 48-54 and 54-60 will need to be combined.



2014-07-24 The Principal Investigator provided updated data for the variable IR_DISPOSITION_RECODE.

2014-02-06 The Principal Investigator added a new variable (IR_COURT) and recoded one existing variable (REARREST_NREARRESTS).


  • 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.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.


This study is maintained and distributed by the National Addiction & HIV Data Archive Program (NAHDAP). NAHDAP is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).