skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 148021 Find in a Library
Title: Rap Sheets in Criminological Research: Considerations and Caveats
Journal: Journal of Quantitative Criminology  Volume:10  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1994)  Pages:3-21
Author(s): M R Geerken
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 19
Grant Number: 86-IJ-CX-0021; 90-IJ-CX-0019
Dataset: DATASET 1  DATASET 2
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article outlines the methodological problems that rap sheet data may introduce to criminological research; the study focuses on the adequacy of official criminal history data for estimating an individual's criminal activity.
Abstract: The analysis, using a database of New Orleans offenders' rap sheets, revealed gross distortions of the effects of variables related to geographic mobility, including race and age. Additional evidence indicates that false-negative error is a serious methodological problem, particularly in fingerprint-based record systems. Researchers frequently misinterpret arrest records by failing to identify multievent arrests, misclassifying arrests, and treating arrest or custody process events as crimes indicating criminal activity of the individual while free. Some of the solutions suggested here include merging multiple official databases, merging court and corrections databases with arrest databases, actively searching for duplication within databases, and consistently counting correctional process charges. 6 tables and 10 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Arrest records; Criminal histories; Louisiana; Research methods
Note: NIJ Reprint
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=148021

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.