National Inmate Survey (NIS) - Prisons: Full Survey Respondents, [United States], 2011-2012 (ICPSR 37020)
Version Date: Sep 10, 2018 View help for published
Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
United States. Bureau of Justice Statistics
Alternate Title View help for Alternate Title
Summary View help for Summary
The National Inmate Survey (NIS) is part of the Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS) National Prison Rape Statistics Program, which gathers mandated data on the incidence and prevalence of sexual assault in correctional facilities under the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA; P.L. 108- 79). Inmates are randomly assigned to receive either a survey of sexual victimization or a survey of criminal history, facility climate, and mental health. About 90 percent of the respondents completed modules through the survey of sexual victimization while the other 10 percent completed modules through the alternative survey. However, the data in this study focuses primarily upon criminal history, facility climate, and mental health. No respondent answered questions about sexual victimization.
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Subject Terms View help for Subject Terms
Geographic Coverage View help for Geographic Coverage
Restrictions View help for Restrictions
Access to these BJS-sponsored data is restricted. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete a NACJD Restricted Data Use Agreement available from the ResearchDataGov website, specify the reasons for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.
Restricted Data Use Agreements available on the NACJD website are provided for reference only. Please visit the ResearchDataGov website to download the appropriate Restricted Data Use Agreement and submit your request. Once approved, data access will be provided via ICPSR's Physical Data Enclave (PDE) in Ann Arbor, MI.
Distributor(s) View help for Distributor(s)
Time Period(s) View help for Time Period(s)
Date of Collection View help for Date of Collection
Data Collection Notes View help for Data Collection Notes
- For further information please visit the Bureau of Justice Statistics website on the National Inmate Survey (NIS).
Data was collected by RTI International under a cooperative agreement with the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).
The PDF codebook includes information provided to ICPSR by the Principal Investigator (P.I.) that provides an overview of the study's design and sampling, weighting and nonresponse adjustments, and sample code and output tables from SAS, SUDAAN, R, and Stata.
The aforementioned P.I. produced section of the codebook states that the data was to be made available in a public use file. However, after the data was deposited with ICPSR the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) instructed that access to the data be restricted. Based upon the study design and available data BJS restricted access to the data only through ICPSR's physical data enclave. Please see the included User Agreement for further information.
The last section of the data file contain derived variables computed by the P.I. based on the survey data. They are listed in alphabetical order. These derived variables offer an additional resource to assist in analyzing the data.
Study Purpose View help for Study Purpose
The purpose of the National Inmate Survey (NIS) is to gather data on inmates' experiences within the state and federal judicial system. It is part of the Bureau of Justice Statistics Prison Rape Statistics Program (PREA). The primary data gathered as part of this program is on the prevalence of sexual assault and rape in correctional facilities. The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA; P.L. 108-79) requires a 10 percent sample of correctional facilities to be listed by incidence of sexual assault, with a minimum of one prison and one jail facility in each state.
A secondary purpose is to report on an inmate's criminal history, the facility conditions and events experienced during incarceration, and on the person's mental health prior to and during incarceration. The data in this particular study focuses solely on these secondary purposes. The data file does not contain data on sexual assault and rape during the respondent's stay in prison.
Study Design View help for Study Design
Inmates are randomly assigned to receive either a survey of sexual victimization or an alternative survey. Facility staff, nor the interviewer, know which survey is randomly assigned to the inmate. Although respondents are randomly selected to one particular survey the only modules that respondents were asked to complete for this study were on the topics of veteran status, criminal history, facility climate, and mental health.
The survey typically takes an inmate 35 minutes to complete. The interviewer began the survey using the computer asking for basic background information. The remainder of the interview was conducted in private where the inmate interacted with a computer administered questionnaire using a touchscreen and synchronized audio instructions delivered via headphones. The interviewer either left the room or moved away from the computer while the inmate completed the interview.
Sample View help for Sample
Between February 2011 and March 2012, 233 state and federal prisons were randomly selected across the nation. Of these 233 total facilities there were 164 state male facilities, 41 state female facilities, 21 federal male facilities, and 7 federal female facilities. A total of 73,873 inmates were selected during data collection. A total of 43,156 inmates ended up participating in the survey. Of that total, 41,822 completed the modules for criminal history, facility climate, and mental health. About 90 percent of the respondents completed the modules through the sexual victimization survey while the other 10 percent completed the same modules through the alternative survey.
Please refer to the codebook for details about the study sampling provided by the Principal Investigator.
Time Method View help for Time Method
Universe View help for Universe
Inmates age 18 or older held in state or federal prison.
Unit(s) of Observation View help for Unit(s) of Observation
Data Type(s) View help for Data Type(s)
Mode of Data Collection View help for Mode of Data Collection
Description of Variables View help for Description of Variables
Questions from the NIS-3 included in this data file are from five of the sections of the larger questionnaire:
- Section A: Inmate Demographics - race, ethnicity, education, relationship status, sexual history, sexual orientation
- Section B: Criminal History - reasons for serving time in jail, total time spent in jail
- Section V: Veteran Status - branch and wars served in while in the military
- Section S: Facility Climate - rating of facility staff, interactions with other inmates, experiences with assault, injury, and theft while in jail
- Section R: Mental Health - past 30 days, last 12 months, and lifetime experiences with aspects of mental health such as depression and anxiety
- Section M: Interview Debriefing Items - interviewer's assessment of respondents effort, understanding, and experience during the interview
The last section of the data file are derived variables created by the Principal Investigator.
Response Rates View help for Response Rates
Original Release Date View help for Original Release Date
Version History View help for Version History
2018-09-10 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:
- Created variable labels and/or value labels.
- Standardized missing values.
- Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.
Weight View help for Weight
Each interviewed inmate was assigned an initial weight corresponding to the inverse of the probability of selection within each sampled facility. A series of adjustment factors was applied to the initial weight to minimize potential bias due to nonresponse and to provide national estimates. The data file contains the final weight variable WT_FINAL and 30 replicate weights (REPWT##). Please refer to the codebook for details about the creation and adjustment of the weights provided by the Principal Investigator.Hide
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.