New York City Court Employment Project Evaluation Study, 1976-1979 (ICPSR 7832)

Principal Investigator(s): Vera Institute of Justice


This study served as a controlled research evaluation of the New York City Court Employment Project (CEP) as it stood in 1976-1979. At the time of the study, CEP was an independent corporation under contract to New York City's Human Resources Administration. The ultimate aim of CEP was to change the income-generating behavior of its participants to reduce their subsequent criminal activity. CEP did this by diverting accused offenders from routine court procedures (criminal prosecution, sentencing, and possible incarceration) and instead placing them into jobs, training, or vocationally-oriented counseling services. Eligible defendants agreed to attend mandatory counseling sessions, to devise and execute individual plans for securing training and employment, and to avoid arrest and conviction during their participation. Charges were dismissed by the court if, at the end of six months, CEP counselors determined that the defendant had participated successfully. Research goals for this study were to accumulate data in order to: (1) assess the impact of diversion on recidivism and personal stability, (2) ascertain the outcome of court cases without diversion, and (3) assess the relationship of these outcomes to the social services aspect of diversion programs. The study compared a control group of non-CEP offenders with an experimental group of CEP participants to assess the program's effectiveness in helping offenders find and maintain employment or training and avoid criminal activity. Data were collected on 666 subjects, 410 in the experimental group and 256 in the control group. Three interviews were conducted at six-month intervals with each subject, initially to record self-reports about education, training, employment history, reliance on public assistance, criminal history, illegal activities, lifestyle, and utilization of social services, and then to maintain current information about their school, employment, income, and court processing status. In addition to the three personal interviews, official records data were obtained from a variety of agencies to gather information including criminal history, disposition of the case on which the defendant entered the research, information related to subsequent arrests, and (for members of the experimental group) information about participation in CEP. Other variables include attendance at counseling sessions, type of employment found, job attendance, self-evaluation of important life events and life satisfaction, social services programs utilized, and drug and alcohol use, as well as defendant's and defendant's parents' age, sex, and race.

Access 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.


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Study Description


Vera Institute of Justice. New York City Court Employment Project Evaluation Study, 1976-1979. ICPSR07832-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1981.

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Law Enforcement Assistance Administration. National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice (76-NI-99-0040, 77-NI-99-0075)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    alternatives to institutionalization, arrest records, career guidance, conviction records, courts, criminal justice system, defendants, disposition (legal), diversion programs, education, employment services, intervention, job history, job placement, job satisfaction, juvenile offenders, life events, living arrangements, occupational mobility, personal adjustment, probation, program evaluation, recidivism rates, rehabilitation programs, sentencing reforms, social adjustment, social services, training

Geographic Coverage:    New York (state), New York City, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1976--1979

Date of Collection:   

  • 1977-01--1978-11

Universe:    Individuals accused of committing crimes in the criminal justice system of New York City (excluding Queens).

Data Type(s):    administrative records data, experimental data, survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Some cases have less than 61 records.

The Vera Institute of Justice, a non-profit New York City policy research agency which originally organized CEP, conducted the evaluation of the program that is contained in this data collection.


Sample:    A research population of 666 units (defendants) was drawn from the criminal courts of Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx. The 666 defendants were selected into the population over a ten-month period: 410 randomly selected experimentals were diverted into the CEP program and 256 controls were not. The research interviewing staff was able initially to locate and secure intake interviews with 80 percent of this population. Of these 533 respondents, the staff was able to find and reinterview 87 percent after approximately six months (that is, 70 percent of the total research population). Annual interviews (after 12 months) were obtained with 376 members of the original population (66 percent).

Data Source:

personal interviews, New York City Police Department files, criminal justice agency files, and CEP files


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-05-03

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