The purpose of this study was to examine crime over a
period of 43 years in Muncie, Indiana, which has commonly been
referred to as "Middletown" in social science studies. The unit of
analysis is the criminal act charged. All charges were counted and
appropriately categorized. The following rules were observed for cases
involving multiple charges or multiple counts of single charges. First,
each charge was counted separately when multiple charges were filed.
Second, when a defendant was charged with multiple counts of a single
charge, each count was considered to be a separate act and so recorded.
Data are provided on year of criminal act charge, first, second, and
third offenses charged, legal representation by public defender, amount
of bail, nature of plea, and place and length of prison terms (Part 2).
Other items specify city population, unemployment rate, and total jobs
in nonfarm industries, as well as the number of police, reported charges
and convictions for murders, rapes, assaults, and robberies, and the
percentage of felons convicted for murder, rape, assault, and robbery
that were incarcerated (Part 5). Additional variables provide the
socioeconomic index, as well as other information on criminal cases
such as initial charges, prior records and number of prior felony
convictions, marital history, and work history of offenders, and
prosecutors' recommended sentencings, actual number of months in
jail, and probation and jail terms (Part 6). Demographic items
specify age, sex, and race (Parts 2 and 6), as well as education and
occupation (Part 6) of the alleged defendant.