Prosecutor's Management Information System (PROMIS), St. Louis, 1979 (ICPSR 8225)

Principal Investigator(s): Institute for Law and Social Research


The Prosecutor's Management Information System (PROMIS) is a computer-based information system for public prosecution agencies. PROMIS was initially developed with funds from the United States Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) to cope with problems of a large, urban prosecution agency where mass production operations had superceded the traditional practice of a single attorney preparing and prosecuting a given case from inception to final disposition. The combination of massive volumes of cases and assembly-line fragmentation of responsibility and control had created a situation in which one case was indistinguishable from another and the effects of problems at various stages in the assembly line on ultimate case disposition went undetected and uncorrected. One unique feature of PROMIS that addresses these problems is the automated evaluation of cases. Through the application of a uniform set of criteria, PROMIS assigns two numerical ratings to each case: one signifying the gravity of the crimes through the measurement of the amount of harm done to society, and the other signifying the gravity of the prior record of the accused. These ratings make it possible to select the more important cases for intensive, pre-trial preparation and to assure even-handed treatment of cases with similar degrees of gravity. A complementary feature of PROMIS is the automation of reasons for decisions made or actions taken along the assembly line. Reasons for dismissing cases prior to trial on their merits can be related to earlier cycles of postponement for various reasons and the reasoning behind intake and screening decisions. The PROMIS data include information about the defendant, case characteristics and processes, charge, sentencing and continuance processes, and the witness/victims involved in the case. PROMIS was first used in 1971 in the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia. To enhance the ability to transfer the concepts and software to other communities, LEAA awarded a grant to the Institute for Law and Social Research (INSLAW) in Washington, DC. The St. Louis PROMIS data collection is a product of this grant.

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.


Dataset - Download All Files (30.993 MB)

Study Description


Institute for Law and Social Research. Prosecutor's Management Information System (PROMIS), St. Louis, 1979. ICPSR08225-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1985.

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Law Enforcement Assistance Administration
  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    case management, case processing, computer programs, court cases, crime, criminal justice system, databases, decision making, defendants, disposition (legal), information systems, prosecuting attorneys, sentencing, victims, witnesses

Geographic Coverage:    Missouri, St. Louis, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1979

Date of Collection:   

  • 1979

Universe:    All records from the Prosecutor's Management and Information System in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1979.

Data Type(s):    administrative records data

Data Collection Notes:

This data collection is organized in a hierarchical data structure with over 109,000 records and six record types. Each record includes data about a particular aspect of a case, including data about the defendants (16 variables), case (80 variables), charges (32 variables), sentencing (24 variables), continuance (21 variables), and witness/victims (15 variables).


Data Source:

St. Louis, Missouri, Prosecutor's Management and Information System

Extent of Processing:   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:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   1985-01-11

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