Police Use of Force Data, 1996: [United States] (ICPSR 6999)

Published: Jan 13, 1998

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


Version V1

In 1996, the Bureau of Justice Statistics sponsored a pretest of a survey instrument designed to compile data on citizen contacts with police, including contacts in which police use force. The survey, which involved interviews (both face-to-face and by phone) carried out by the United States Census Bureau, was conducted as a special supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), an ongoing household survey of the American public that elicits information concerning recent crime victimization experiences. Questions asked in the supplement covered reasons for contact with police officer(s), characteristics of the officer, weapons used by the officer, whether there were any injuries involved in the confrontation between the household member and the officer, whether drugs were involved in the incident, type of offense the respondent was charged with, and whether any citizen action was taken. Demographic variables include race, sex, and age.

United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Police Use of Force Data, 1996: [United States]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1998-01-13. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06999.v1

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


1996-05 -- 1996-07

(1) For the pretest, the Census Bureau interviewed 6,467 residents aged 12 or older. Of these, 6,421 were asked a question regarding whether they had any contact with a police officer during a 12-month period. For this reason, the codebook indicates that interviews were completed with 6,421 persons. (2) The codebook and data collection instrument are 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.

One-seventh of the sample that was scheduled for its final interview in May, June, or July of 1996.

Persons aged 12 or older in American households that were selected to participate in the NCVS.

self-enumerated questionnaires

survey data



1998-01-13 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.

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.