Survey of California Prison Inmates, 1976 (ICPSR 7797)

Published: Nov 4, 2005

Principal Investigator(s):
Mark A. Peterson; Suzanne Polich; Jan Michael Chaiken

Version V2

This survey of inmates in five California prisons was conducted by the RAND Corporation with a grant from the National Institute of Justice. Researchers distributed an anonymous self-administered questionnaire to groups of 10-20 inmates at a time. Using the self-report technique, the survey obtained detailed information about the crimes committed by these prisoners prior to their incarceration. Variables were calculated to examine the characteristics of repeatedly arrested or convicted offenders (recidivists) as well as offenders reporting the greatest number of serious crimes (habitual criminals). The variables include crimes committed leading to incarceration, rates of criminal activity, and social-psychological scales for analyzing motivations to commit crimes, as well as self-reports of age, race, education, marital status, employment, income, and drug use.

Peterson, Mark A., Polich, Suzanne, and Chaiken, Jan Michael. Survey of California Prison Inmates, 1976. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2005-11-04.

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (83-IJ-CX-0006)


1976-07 -- 1976-08

Male prisoners who were incarcerated in five California state adult correctional institutions in July and August of 1976.

self-enumerated questionnaires

survey data



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.

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:

  • 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.

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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.