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NCJ Number: 49661 Find in a Library
Title: VALIDITY OF CRIMINALITY DATA DERIVED FROM PERSONAL INTERVIEWS
Author(s): J PETERSILIA
Corporate Author: Rand Corporation
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 29
Sponsoring Agency: Rand Corporation
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
Publication Number: P-5890
Sale Source: Rand Corporation
1776 Main Street
P.O. Box 2138
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States of America
Type: Bibliography
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A TWO-STEP PROCESS IS USED TO ASSESS THE VALIDITY OF SELF-REPORTED DATA COLLECTED DURING A STUDY OF REPEAT OFFENDERS. IT FOUND THAT MOST DISCREPANCIES OCCUR FOR MINOR OFFENSES WHILE MAJOR CRIMES ARE WELL RECALLED.
Abstract: AS PART OF A LARGER RESEARCH PROJECT ON 'CRIMINAL CAREERS OF HABITUAL FELONS,' THE RELIABILITY OF THE INFORMATION OBTAINED FROM THE CRIMINALS THROUGH PERSONAL INTERVIEWS WAS ASSESSED. FIRST THE OFFENDER'S CRIMINAL HISTORY WAS CHECKED. THEN DATA GATHERED BY TRAINED INTERVIEWERS WERE CROSS-MATCHED WITH THE OFFICIAL RECORD. THE VARIETY OF TECHNIQUES USED TO AID RECALL ARE DESCRIBED. DURING THE INTERVIEWS THE OFFENDERS REPORTED APPROXIMATELY 20 OFFENSES PER YEAR OF STREET TIME, ABOUT 10 TIMES AS MANY AS SHOWED ON THE ARREST SHEETS. BY MATCHING SELF-REPORTS TO OFFICIAL RECORDS, IT WAS CALCULATED THAT ONLY 2.4 PERCENT OF CRIMES RESULT IN ARREST AND 1.8 PERCENT IN CONVICTION. ABOUT 75 PERCENT OF THE ARREST WERE ACCURATELY RECALLED. ERRORS INVOLVED LESS SERIOUS OFFENSES. EVENTS MOST ACCURATELY RECALLED WERE ROBBERY AND RAPE, WHEREAS THOSE LEAST ACCURATELY REPORTED WERE GRAND LARCENY, AGGRAVATED ASSAULT, AND AUTO THEFT. ALSO, EVENTS WHICH TOOK PLACE CLOSEST TO TIME OF INTERVIEW WERE LEAST ACCURATELY RECALLED. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE OFFENDERS DESIRED TO LOOK REHABILITATED. THE FINDINGS ALSO SHOWED THAT THE ANSWERS WERE EQUALLY TRUTHFUL FOR BOTH MALE AND FEMALE INTERVIEWERS. TABLES PRESENT STUDY DATA. AN EXTENSIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY IS APPENDED. (GLR)
Index Term(s): Crime Rate; Estimated crime incidence; Habitual offenders; Research; Research methods
Note: PAPER PREPARED FOR A PANEL ON 'VALIDATION OF SELF-REPORT MEASURES'. 1977 AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CRIMINOLOGY
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=49661

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