Judicial Decision Guidelines for Bail: The Philadelphia Experiment, 1981-1982 (ICPSR 8358)

Published: Mar 4, 1993

Principal Investigator(s):
John S. Goldkamp; Michael R. Gottfredson


Version V1

The purpose of this study was to test the utility of draft guidelines in informing judicial decisions about bail. A sample of judges, based upon a stratified quota sampling design, was selected from the Philadephia Municipal Court to rule on sample cases. Eight judges were randomly selected to use guidelines and be "experimental judges," and eight others were randomly selected to be nonguideline or "control judges." Data for the sample cases were taken from defendants' files. Variables provided in this collection include number of suspects involved, number of different offenses charged, most serious injury experienced by the victim(s), preliminary arraignment disposition, amount of bail, socioeconomic status and demographics of the defendant, prior criminal history of the defendant, and reason for granting or denying bail.

Goldkamp, John S., and Gottfredson, Michael R. Judicial Decision Guidelines for Bail:  The Philadelphia Experiment, 1981-1982. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1993-03-04. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR08358.v1

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (81-IJR-0027)

United States Department of Justice. Federal Bureau of Prisons. National Institute of Corrections (OJ-ARS-84-M-105)

1981 -- 1982

1981 -- 1982

Court records of 16 judges.

Philadelphia Municipal Court judges during 1981-1982.

Philadelphia Municipal Court records

administrative records data

experimental data




  • 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.