Offender Based Transaction Statistics (OBTS), 1980: California, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, and Utah (ICPSR 8248)

Alternate Title:   OBTS 1980

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


Offender Based Transaction Statistics (OBTS) studies are designed to collect information by tracking adult offenders from the point of entry into the criminal justice system (typically by arrest) through final disposition, regardless of whether the offender is convicted or acquitted. Information is provided on arrest, police action, prosecutor action, level of charges, charges filed by the prosecutor, type of counsel, pretrial status, type of trial, sentence type, and sentence length. This allows researchers to examine how the criminal justice system processes offenders, to measure the changing volume of offenders moving through the different segments of the criminal justice system, to calculate processing time intervals between major decision-making events, and to assess the changing structure of the offender population.

Series: Offender Based Transaction Statistics (OBTS) Series

Access Notes

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the restricted-use data. A login is required to apply.

    A downloadable version of data for this study is available however, certain identifying information in the downloadable version may have been masked or edited to protect respondent privacy. Additional data not included in the downloadable version are available in a restricted version of this data collection. For more information about the differences between the downloadable data and the restricted data for this study, please refer to the codebook notes section of the PDF codebook. Users interested in obtaining restricted data must complete and sign a Restricted Data Use Agreement, describe the research project and data protection plan, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

    Any 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


U.S. Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. OFFENDER BASED TRANSACTION STATISTICS (OBTS), 1980: CALIFORNIA, OHIO, NEW YORK, PENNSYLVANIA, AND UTAH. Compiled by Regional Justice Information System. ICPSR08248-v6. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [producer and distributor], 2005-08-08.

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This study was funded by:

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

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    adult offenders, arrests, case processing, criminal justice system, disposition (legal), prosecution, policies and procedures, sentencing

Geographic Coverage:    California, Ohio, New York (state), Pennsylvania, Utah, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1980

Date of Collection:   

  • 1980

Universe:    Persons in the United States who have achieved adult status (as specified by individual state laws) and who have been processed for felonies by the police, prosecutors, or courts, whether or not there is a final determination of guilt.

Data Type(s):    event/transaction data, and survey data

Data Collection Notes:

For reasons of confidentiality, the "day" variables in the dates have been blanked in the public release version of the data. Consequently, additional variables have been created to provide the elapsed time between the day of arrest and the days of the police disposition, the prosecutor/grand jury disposition, the final court disposition, and the sentencing date.


Data Source:

computerized court records

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 recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-07-12

Version History:

  • 2005-08-08 The data were reprocessed using resupplied data. Old ICPSR administrative variables were removed. The variables "Date of Arrest: Day," "Date of Police Disp: Day," "Date Prosec Dispos: Day," "Date Final Court Disp: Day," and "Sentencing Date: Day," previously removed from the data, have been included in the data files. A public version of the data has been created in which the Day variables are blanked and a restricted version of the data has been created in which the Day variables have not been blanked. Also, Part 2, which was an old frequency file, has been removed. The codebook and all the SAS, SPSS, and Stata collection files have been updated to reflect the changes.
  • 1997-04-14 SAS data definition statements are now available for this collection, and the SPSS data definition statements were updated.

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