National Survey of Judges and Court Practitioners, 1991 (ICPSR 9837)

Published: Oct 27, 2000

Principal Investigator(s):
United States Sentencing Commission

Version V1

The United States Sentencing Commission, established by the 98th Congress, is an independent agency in the judicial branch of government. The Commission's primary function is to institute guidelines that prescribe the appropriate form and severity of punishment for offenders convicted of federal crimes. This survey was developed in response to issues that arose during site visits conducted in conjunction with an implementation study of sentencing guidelines and was intended to supplement the information obtained in the more extensive site visit interviews. Topics include the impact of the plea agreement, departures by the court, mandatory minimum sentences, the general issue of unwarranted sentencing disparity, and whether this disparity had increased, decreased, or stayed about the same since the sentencing guidelines were imposed in 1987.

United States Sentencing Commission. National Survey of Judges and Court Practitioners, 1991  . Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2000-10-27.

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



The codebook and data collection instruments are provided by ICPSR as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file 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.

All federal district judges and federal public defenders were surveyed. A random sample was drawn of assistant United States attorneys engaged in criminal work, federal panel attorneys, and federal probation officers who prepared presentence reports or performed investigations for those reports.

Federal district judges, public defenders, assistant United States attorneys engaged in criminal work, federal panel attorneys, and federal probation officers.

self-enumerated questionnaires

survey data



2000-10-27 SAS and SPSS data definition statements were added to this collection, and the codebook and data collection instruments are now available as a PDF file.

1993-04-09 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:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


  • 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.