Fines as a Criminal Sanction: Practices and Attitudes of Trial Court Judges in the United States, 1985 (ICPSR 8945)

Principal Investigator(s): Cole, George F.; Mahoney, Barry


These data were collected to examine the practices and views of state trial court judges with respect to their use of fines as a criminal sanction. Respondents were asked about the composition of their caseloads, sentencing practices (including fines imposed for various circumstances), available information about the offender at time of sentencing, enforcement and collection procedures in their courts, and their attitudes toward the use of fines. In addition to questions concerning the judges' use of fines and other sanctions, the questionnaire presented the judges with hypothetical cases.

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


Cole, George F., and Barry Mahoney. FINES AS A CRIMINAL SANCTION: PRACTICES AND ATTITUDES OF TRIAL COURT JUDGES IN THE UNITED STATES, 1985. ICPSR version. Denver, CO: Institute for Court Management of the National Center for State Courts/Storrs, CT: University of Connecticut [producers], 1987. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2002.

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (84-IJ-CX-0012)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    caseloads, fines, judges, judicial decisions, offenders, sanctions, sentencing, state courts, trial courts, United States

Date of Collection:   

  • 1985

Universe:    All state court judges of general jurisdiction and limited, but not special, jurisdiction in the United States.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The codebook is provided as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided on the ICPSR Web site.


Sample:    Stratified random sample.

Data Source:

mailed questionnaires

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:

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


Original ICPSR Release:   1988-10-25

Version History:

  • 2002-06-27 SAS and SPSS data definition statements were created and the codebook was converted to PDF.

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