National Manpower Survey, 1973-1976 (ICPSR 7675)

Published: Feb 16, 1992

Principal Investigator(s):
Bureau of Social Science Research, Inc.

Version V1

This data collection contains information from a series of national surveys, conducted simultaneously across the criminal justice system, to ascertain national manpower strengths and goals, agency information and characteristics, and attitudes of the agency heads during the period 1973-1976. The National Manpower Survey was undertaken to assess the adequacy of existing federal, state, and local training and education programs meeting current personnel needs in various law enforcement and criminal justice functions and operations. The study intended to project future personnel and training needs, by occupation, in relation to anticipated availability of qualified personnel in order to assess the future adequacy of training and educational resources. It also sought to establish "needs priorities" as a basis for future training and academic assistance programs to be funded by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The study design systematically covered the personnel needs in all state and local governmental agencies that were part of the law enforcement and criminal justice system. Sectors within the system included: (1) law enforcement, consisting of police departments and sheriff's agencies, ranging in size from one-person constabularies to large city departments employing 20,000 or more individuals, (2) corrections, including both adult and juvenile correctional institutions and agencies, and (3) the judicial process, including a wide range of courts with varying jurisdictions and scope, district attorneys or prosecutors' offices, and public defenders' offices. For this study, the Bureau of Social Science Research was responsible for the acquisition and assessment of existing statistical data as well as the design and execution of systematic mail surveys of agencies, officials, and employees within the law enforcement/criminal justice system. Nine nationwide surveys were directed to executives in criminal justice agencies, including chiefs of police (in both large and small departments), sheriffs (in both large and small departments), chief prosecutors, chief defenders, court administrators, wardens of adult correctional facilities, directors of juvenile correctional facilities, and chief probation and parole officers. Two additional surveys were sent to general and appellate jurisdiction courts. In the nine surveys directed to criminal justice executives, the instruments asked respondents for (1) an overall assessment of manpower problems, including personnel categories in which critical shortages might exist, and total personnel required to fulfill all agency duties and responsibilities, (2) desired and actual entry level standards, as well as entry level and in-service training content and requirements, (3) demographic, educational, training, and occupational background information about the executive respondent, (4) opinions about major obstacles to effectiveness and attitudes toward various issues such as team policing, plea bargaining, and computer-assisted case management, and (5) a fact sheet section dealing with agency employment by occupational category, salaries, and workloads. Each of the remaining two surveys was a census of general and appellate jurisdiction courts designed to yield basic statistical information regarding the courts and court systems' current staffing, training activities, and caseloads, and did not seek any attitudinal or subjective responses. Thus the agency itself was the reporting unit, with the respondent required only to be in a position to provide accurate, reliable information.

Bureau of Social Science Research, Inc. National Manpower Survey, 1973-1976. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1992-02-16.

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1973 -- 1976

1975 -- 1976

A number of variables with undocumented codes are included in the data files and codebooks. Extensive search efforts failed to recover these code values. As much information as is known about the variables has been included in the documentation.

(1) Part 2: The small police department chiefs' survey consisted of a 20-percent sample of all general purpose police departments serving jurisdictions with a 1970 population less than 17,000. (2) Part 3: Stratified random sampling was used to obtain the sample of chiefs of large sheriff departments. (3) Part 4: A sampling of 3/13 of small sheriff departments was used. (4) For the other eight surveys, because of the small size of the universe and lack of adequate data on which to base stratification decisions, censuses were conducted.

Chiefs of police of both large and small departments, sheriffs of both large and small departments, chief prosecutors, chief defenders, court administrators, wardens of adult correctional facilities, directors of juvenile correctional facilities, and chief probation and parole officers, as well as general and appellate jurisdiction courts in the United States.

mailback questionnaires

survey data



1984-03-18 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.
  • 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.