Survey of Prison Inmates, United States, 2016 (ICPSR 37692)
Version Date: Sep 15, 2021 View help for published
Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
United States. Bureau of Justice Statistics
- Survey of Prison Inmates (SPI) Series (Formerly Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities (SISFCF))
Version V4 (see more versions)
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Summary View help for Summary
To fulfill part of its mission, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) conducted the Survey of Prison Inmates (SPI), a national, wide-ranging survey of prisoners age 18 or older who were incarcerated in state or federal correctional facilities within the United States. SPI provides national statistics on prisoner characteristics across a variety of domains, such as current offense and sentence, incident characteristics, firearm possession and sources, criminal history, demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, family background, drug and alcohol use and treatment, mental and physical health and treatment, and facility programs and rules violations. SPI can also be used to track changes in these characteristics over time, describe special populations of prisoners, and identify policy-relevant changes in the state and federal prison populations. Formerly the Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities (SISFCF), this survey was renamed SPI with the 2016 iteration.
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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 may be accessed from a requester secure site via ICPSR's secure download procedures.
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
Study Design View help for Study Design
From January through October 2016, data were collected through face-to-face interviews with prisoners using computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI). In a CAPI interview, interviewers read questions aloud and enter responses directly into a laptop computer, allowing skip patterns and other routing criteria to be implemented automatically. SPI interviews averaged approximately 50 minutes, including about 2 minutes for the consent process and 48 minutes to complete the survey. Interviews were conducted in English (94 percent) and Spanish (6 percent).
Sample View help for Sample
The 2016 SPI was a stratified two-stage sample design in which prisons were selected in the first stage and prisoners within sampled facilities were selected in the second stage. A total of 364 prisons (306 state and 58 federal) participated in the 2016 SPI out of 385 selected (324 state and 61 federal), which included 15 sampled prisons that were deemed ineligible. A total of 24,848 prisoners participated (20,064 state and 4,784 federal) in the 2016 SPI, based on a sample of 37,058 prisoners (30,348 state and 6,710 federal), which included 1,549 sampled prisoners who were deemed ineligible for the survey.
Time Method View help for Time Method
Universe View help for Universe
The SPI sample was selected from a universe of 2,001 unique prisons (1,808 state and 193 federal) that were either enumerated in the 2012 Census of State and Federal Correctional Facilities or had opened between the completion of the census and July 2014. The target population for the 2016 SPI was male and female prisoners age 18 or older who were held in a state prison or were serving a sentence to federal prison in the U.S. during 2016.
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
Response Rates View help for Response Rates
A total of 364 prisons (306 state and 58 federal) participated in the 2016 survey out of the 385 selected (32 state and 61 federal). The other 21 prisons were not included, either due to non-response or ineligibility. The first-stage participation rate (i.e., the response rate among selected prisons) was 98.4 percent: 98.1 percent for state prisons (all but 6 out of 312) and 100 percent for federal prisons.
A total of 24,848 prisoners participated (20,064 state and 4,784 federal) in the 2016 SPI based on a sample of 37,058 prisoners (30,348 state and 6,710 federal). The second-stage response (i.e., the response rate among selected prisoners) was 70.0 percent: 69.3 percent among state prisoners and 72.8 percent among federal prisoners.Hide
Original Release Date View help for Original Release Date
Version History View help for Version History
2021-09-15 The questionnaire in each of the PDF codebooks was replaced with an updated version containing a revised table of contents.
2021-08-19 A publicly available codebook was released for DS3 "Restricted-Use U.S. Data".
2021-03-04 The study was updated to include a jackknife multipliers file and a revised user guide.
2020-12-21 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 variable labels and/or value labels.
- Standardized missing values.
- Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
- Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.
Weight View help for Weight
Responses from interviewed prisoners in the 2016 SPI were weighted to provide national estimates. Each interviewed prisoner was assigned an initial weight corresponding the inverse of the probability of selection within each sampled prison. A series of adjustment factors were applied to the initial weight to minimize potential bias due to non-response and to provide national estimates.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.