Survey of Inmates of State Correctional Facilities, 1991: [United States] (ICPSR 6068)

Published: Oct 11, 1993

Principal Investigator(s):
United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics


Version V1

This survey provides nationally representative data on persons held in state prisons and is similar to surveys conducted in 1974 (ICPSR 7811), 1979 (ICPSR 7856), and 1986 (ICPSR 8711). The survey was designed to provide information on individual characteristics of prison inmates, their current offenses and sentences, characteristics of victims, criminal histories, prior drug and alcohol use and treatment, gun possession and use, gang membership, family background, and prison activities, programs, and services.

United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Survey of Inmates of State Correctional Facilities, 1991: [United States]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1993-10-11.

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


1991-06 -- 1991-08

The sample design used was a stratified, two-stage selection. In the first stage, correctional facilities were separated into two sampling frames: prisons with male inmates and prisons with female inmates. Prisons holding both sexes were included on both lists and treated independently in sample selection based on their population of male or female prisoners as relevant. Within each frame, facilities were stratified by census region and facility type (confinement and community-based). The male frame was further stratified by security level (maximum, medium, minimum, and unclassified). A systematic sample of prisons was then selected within strata on each frame with probabilities proportional to the size of each prison. In the second stage, interviewers visited each selected facility and systematically selected a sample of male and female inmates using predetermined procedures, with the selection process allowing for an oversample of females. In 1991, 272 facilities were selected, yielding a sample size of 15,011 inmates. A total of 13,986 inmate interviews were completed.

All adult inmates in the United States housed in correctional facilities operated by a state government.

personal interviews

survey data



1993-10-11 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:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • 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.

NACJD logo

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.