Social Order in Middletown, 1932-1975 (ICPSR 9058)

Principal Investigator(s): Hewitt, John


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.

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.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  File MUNFIL - Download All Files (1.925 MB)
DS2:  File MUNCON [SPSS Job Control Cards] - Download All Files (0.853 MB)
DS3:  File DELDATFL - Download All Files (1.011 MB)
DS4:  File TIMEDTA - Download All Files (0.853 MB)
DS5:  File TIMESTD [SPSS Job Control Cards] - Download All Files (0.855 MB)
DS6:  File SENTENCE: Judicial Sentencing Disparity [includes SPSS Job Control Cards] - Download All Files (0.945 MB)

Study Description


Hewitt, John. Social Order in Middletown, 1932-1975. ICPSR09058-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2002.

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    crime, defendants, sentencing

Geographic Coverage:    Indiana, Muncie, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1932--1975

Universe:    All charged criminal acts in Muncie and Delaware Counties in Indiana in the period 1829-1978.

Data Type(s):    administrative records data

Data Collection Notes:

Despite the 1932-1975 date range in the title, there is indication that the collection actually contains data spanning 1829-1978.


Data Source:

docket books and records from criminal courts in Muncie and Delaware Counties, Indiana


Original ICPSR Release:   1985-03-18

Version History:

  • 2006-01-18 File CB9058.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.

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