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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 83032 Find in a Library
Title: Usefulness of Official Records in Longitudinal Research in Criminology (From Longitudinal Research in the United States - Relevance to Primary Prevention of Delinquency, Volume 1 - Longitudinal Research Methods, P 208-225, 1981, Sarnoff A Mednick and Michele Harway, ed. - See NCJ-83031)
Author(s): M Heim; K S Teilmann
Corporate Author: University of Southern California
Social Science Research Institute
United States of America
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Four issues pertaining to the use of longitudinal data bases for the study of criminal behavior are explored: (1) types of research questions that can be studied using these data bases, (2) relative merits of self-report and official records as measures of criminal activity, (3) available sources of official records, and (4) problems in using official records for research.
Abstract: Longitudinal data bases are indicated to be of interest for obtaining information on the incidence, type, chronicity, and patterns of criminal behavior. The advantages and disadvantages of self-report and official records of crime include underreporting, bias are discussed, followed by a presentation of the results of a survey of 17 States regarding their statewide central arrest record system and the possibility of research access. The survey sought information on the composition of each record system (types of offenders and whether the system has records on juveniles), the data available on persons in the system (the information that can be found on a typical file and how long records have been kept), reporting procedures and recordkeeping (who reports to the system, the frequency of reports, whether the system is computerized or manual, and any changes planned for the system), and access (the possibilities and avenues for access by researchers and information a researcher would need about a person to find him/her in the system). A table is provided to show ease of access to criminal registers by States for States with longitudinal projects. The States involved are Wisconsin, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, and Maryland. Thirteen references are listed.
Index Term(s): Data collections; Longitudinal studies; Police records; Research methods; Self reported crimes
Note: Available on microfiche as NCJ-83031
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