Page images

future trends for approximately one-fifth of new housing units is not available.

The Census Bureau should add monthly information on dealer stocks of mobile homes to its ongoing survey of mobile home placements.

existing housing is developed decennially, and in less detail annually. However, there is no comparable information, even on a one-time basis, for the stock of nonresidential structures.

Areas for further Research

The provision of an inventory of nonresidential structures by type of structure, ownership, age, utilization, geographic area and other characteristics potentially could be used to develop projections of the demand for additional and replacement structures in local areas, for estimates of tangible national wealth, and possibly as a universe from which to conduct sample surveys of expenditures for repairs, replacements, additions and alterations to existing nonresidential structures.

Capacity in the Construction Industry. There presently are no statistics on capacity and capacity utilization in the construction industry. Such information would be useful for analyses of potential output, inflationary pressures, and capital investment requirements for the construction industry.

Because of difficult methodological problems associated with developing a statistical series on capacity and capacity utilization in the construction industry, an interagency task force should study pragmatic means for developing such measures. The study should evaluate the feasibility of developing such measures.

Inventory of Nonresidential Structures.-An inventory of the characteristics and location of

Because of the considerable costs associated with developing an inventory of existing nonresidential structures, an interagency task force should examine the likely uses to which such information would in fact be put. The results of this study should then be evaluated to determine the merits for initially developing such an inventory and subsequently for periodically keeping it up to date.


Responsible Agencies A well-rounded statistical program for criminal justice would provide comprehensive information on crime and its victims, on offenders, and about the administration of justice at the Federal, State, and local levels. At present, there are some 15 Federal agencies and thousands of State and local agencies involved in the collection, analysis, and use of criminal justice statistics. The primary collecting agencies at the Federal level are the National Criminal Justice Information and Statistics Service (NCJISS) of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA), the Uniform Crime Reporting Section of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Census Bureau, and the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. Currently most the major criminal justice data collection activities involve the LEAA in one way or another. For example, LEAA presently expends over $5 million annually on interagency agreements with the Census Bureau.

Although a great deal of criminal justice data are collected, little analysis is accomplished, despite LEAA's clear mandate to do so. Moreover, there is no activity within the Department of Justice itself, with the possible exception of the Office for the Improvement of Criminal Justice, which presently has a role of coordinating and analyzing criminal justice statistics.

There are a number of other organizations within the Department of Justice which could be involved with criminal justice statistical activities, but are not. The most important of these are the Offices of the U.S. Attorneys, which are the focal point for the Federal criminal justice process from arrest through adjudication.


A major problem concerning criminal justice in the United States today relates to basic public misunderstandings concerning both crime and its impact, as well as the efficacy and cost of the criminal justice process. Therefore, a major target group for criminal justice statistics is the general public, through the agency of the press. Because of the

constitutional reservation of many justice activities to the States, criminal justice decisionmaking is extraordinarily fragmented; the information reported by the press impacts directly on decisionmakers in city councils, State legislatures, and leadership personnel in criminal justice agencies at all levels of government. Thus, it is essential that basic misunderstandings concerning crime and the administration of justice be corrected, and our general knowledge in this area expanded.

The academic community also is another important user of criminal justice statistics. The last decade has seen the establishment of several specialized schools of criminal justice as well as the development of criminal justice programs in general institutions of higher learning. The data currently being produced are a valuable resource for these institutions. More importantly, behavioral scientists in general, and criminologists in particular, are using criminal justice statistics to develop and evaluate their theories about crime and justice. Legislative, executive, and judicial decisionmakers rely heavily on the advice of these academics.

Another key user of criminal justice statistics is the U.S. Congress. The Senate and House Judiciary Committees in particular use data to design legislation and programs. The Subcommittee on Criminal Laws and Procedures of the Senate Judiciary Committee, for example, used a great deal of statistical information on judicial outcomes and sentencing policies among the various Federal courts in the development of legislation to codify Federal criminal statutues. The Juvenile Delinquency Subcommittee continues to use information on juvenile institutions and juvenile courts in its development and monitoring of juvenile justice programs. The Subcommittee on Crime of the House Judiciary Committee uses information on urban crime rates in making decisions concerning the shape of Federal legislation, particularly in the periodic LEAA authorizations.

Many LEAA program decisions have been based on information concerning crime and justice. The LEAA high impact crime reduction program, a $160

million effort, was designed to attempt to reduce stranger-to-stranger crime and burglary in eight large cities. The selection of cities was based in part on crimes known to the police as reported in the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR). The overall evaluation of the program on the other hand was based on information collected through victimization surveys. Each city, as part of its participation, was required to establish crime analysis teams which became very active users of statistics on crime and the effectiveness and cost of various justice process alternatives.

press, and public interest groups. Such a committee, with additional representation from key segments of the general public, particularly minority

and women's groups, should be organized and convened on a regular basis. The membership of such a group should be rotated frequently in order to reduce the tendency for the advisory committee itself to become another special interest lobby.

Core Programs

The LEAA program has also established another sizable set of users. One of the requirements for participation in the LEAA Federal/State cooperative program, known as Comprehensive Data System (CDS), is that each State must establish a Criminal Justice Statistical Analysis Center (SAC). These centers provide input into the Criminal Justice State Planning Agencies (required by the Crime Control Act), State and local criminal justice agencies, the governor's office and the State legislatures. As of mid-1976, over two thirds of the States have established Criminal Justice Statistical Analysis Centers under this program.

In order to reasonably discuss the core program for criminal justice statistics, it is necessary to examine the overall data requirements. The best description of these requirements can be found in the Report of the Task Force on Assessment of the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice (The Katzenbach Commission), and in the report of the Advisory Task Force on Information Systems and Statistics of the National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals.' Both of these task forces stressed the need for reliable data on crime, the criminal justice system, the justice process, and information on victims and offenders.

There are now a variety of programs in place which satisfy many of the requirements described by the Commissions.

Advisory Groups There is no single advisory group which continually reviews and makes recommendations concerning criminal justice statistics. There are some advisory groups which are limited to specific programs or which represent a particular constituency. One example is the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) whose Committee on Uniform Crime Records advises the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports program. Similarly, LEAA has funded a consortium of States known as SEARCH Group, Inc. (formerly Project SEARCH) which regularly makes recommendations to LEAA on activities of particular interest to State agencies.

Those concerned with criminal justice statistics have been fortunate in having had a series of commissions' which have provided excellent program guidance. Nevertheless, a general advisory group is strongly recommended. A model for such a group already exists. In 1974, LEAA convened an ad hoc policy development group representing Federal, State and local agencies, the academic community, the

Uniform Crime Reports (FBI).—The UCR program, in operation since 1930, is one of the oldest of the existing Federal statistical programs. Primarily, UCR solicits information on crimes known to the police, arrests, offenses cleared by arrest, law enforcement employee data, data on law enforcement officers killed, and other law enforcement data. Until 1969, these data were all reported directly from local police agencies to the FBI. In 1969, the FBI began a program in which State agencies would assume responsibility for collecting information from the departments compiling it and forwarding it to the FBI.

In 1972, LEAA included the UCR as a part of its Comprehensive Data System (CDS) program. State agencies participating in this program must assume responsibility for UCR collection and quality control. To accomplish the quality control, standardized audit systems have been developed. The UCR program had previously been criticized for being subject to manipulation by local law

'The Wickersham Commission Reports, 1929, 1930; The President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice, The Katzenbach Commission, 1967; and the National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals in 1973.

?Task Force Report, Crime and Its Impact-An Assessment, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1967.

'Criminal Justice System, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1974-528-395, Region No. 4.

enforcement agencies for political purposes. While this possibility remains, the new quality control efforts should significantly reduce if not eliminate this problem.

of several issues reviewed by the National Academy of Science. They recommended that the specific city surveys be discontinued in favor of an expansion of the sample in some areas in order to provide data for some number of SMSA's. LEAA instead simply dropped the collection of "city" data without taking any steps to provide data for SMSA's or other small areas.

The National Crime Survey (NCS) LEAA.-This survey also gathers information about crime. It differs from the UCR in that it produces information obtained from the victim rather than providing data only on crimes known to the police. It has been found that the differences between crime reported in the National Crime Survey and the UCR are significant and vary widely from place to place. The first survey of the largest cities indicated that the differences ranged from 2:1 in one Eastern city to in excess of 7:1 in another Eastern city. In all cities at least half of the crimes never come to the attention of the police, but in some areas, for whatever reason, the public fails to report even larger numbers of offenses to the police or the police fail to report to the FBI.

The Crime Survey also has the ability to examine more carefully complex crimes. The survey produces an individual record for each victim identified. This record contains information about each violation which was committed during a criminal episode. Since the basic computer record can be tabulated by a large set of variables, there is great flexibility in the kind of output available. Because of its summary collection method, on the other hand, the UCR counts only the most serious crime which takes place in a criminal episode. The Crime Survey identifies all of the crimes which take place in an episode and includes an indication of the number of victims, offenders, and so forth. The survey also provides detailed data on the characteristics of victims and the circumstances surrounding the criminal event.

The decision to cease collecting data from large cities should be reviewed. While the data.collected do not fully reflect crime in a city they do reflect the crime problems of the residents. Moreover, for certain offenses, notably burglary, the crime survey data should reflect the crime problem directly. The most important reason for examining individual cities is to be able to correlate the incidence of various offenses with other characteristics of the city. This provides a powerful analytical tool for assessing the crime problem. At a minimum, LEAA should conduct another round of victimization surveys in the cities which participated in its high impact crime reduction program. The preliminary evaluation of this program which examined crimes reported to the police did not indicate the kind of reduction anticipated; however, in the "impact" program heavy emphasis was placed on the improvement of statistics. The first review of these data indicated that crime increased in most of the “Impact Cities.” However, it may be that the consciousness of the residents was raised during the publicity associated with the program. In order to determine whether there was a long-term effect, surveys will have to be conducted in these cities.

Victimization data are useful for planners and law enforcement agencies in any city. The characteristics of criminal events which are provided by victimization surveys can be a valuable resource for developing crime reduction strategies. Even differences between crimes reported to the police and those reported in victimization surveys can provide insights into the attitudes of the public toward the police and other law enforcement agencies.

Regular data collection for the National Crime Survey began in 1972. In addition to gathering information about victimization, the panel is used to gather attitudinal information from the public about such things as official criminal justice policies, the seriousness of various offenses, and others. These data are collected for LEAA by the Bureau of the Census. Initially, the survey produced data for the United States and for 13 large cities annually. Serious questions were raised concerning the continued collection of data for individual cities. One argument that was made was that collecting data from residents of cities does not adequately reflect crime which takes place in these cities since crimes against nonresidents were not included. Similarly it can be argued that crime is no respector of geopolitical boundaries. However, others argued that the response to crime is related to specific political entities and therefore collection for large cities was appropriate. This was one

It is not possible to fund victimization data collection activities in every city. Therefore, work should begin immediately on the development of synthetic methods of estimating crime in local areas utilizing existing crime survey data along with demographic and other data. The development of such multivariate techniques should be given high priority so that they can be subjected to definitive tests using 1980 Census data. If such estimation procedures can be developed, the cities sample could then be eliminated without serious damage.

In 1977, apparently because of a lack of funds, the LEAA decided to interrupt the national series for six months while research was conducted. There was a serious outcry from the academic community, other parts of the Justice Department, and from the Congress. The Subcommittee on Crime of the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the subject and the decision was at least temporarily reversed. LEAA's actions concerning the crime survey leave little doubt that unless it is moved quickly to a new Bureau of Justice Statistics (see below) the activity will be permanently damaged or destroyed.

National Correctional Statistics Program (LEAA).—This program consists of several administrative data collection activities and inmate surveys. The core program is the National Prisoner Statistics (NPS), which was established in 1926. It collects data on the number and movement of prisoners in State institutions and provides the only definitive data on capital punishment. The Federal Prisons System supplies data on prisoners in Federal institutions which is reported in this series. NPS bulletins are published annually.

Another correctional statistics effort is the periodic Census of Jails and Characteristics of Inmates of Local Jails. A final element of this program is the Juvenile Detention and Correctional Facilities Census.

Inmate Information System (FPS).—The Federal Prison System has maintained this automated data collection system since January 1970. The system records inmate location, the volume of movement through Federal institutions, and the demographic characteristics of offenders. It provides a comprehensive historical collection of movement and locator information. Data on offender characteristics is adequate for the sentenced offenders but is uneven in its coverage of unsentenced and short-term offenders. Limited in scope to Federal prison populations, the system is at best a necessary subset of the data needed to adequately describe the volume and characteristics of Federal offenders. Fully adequate information can be developed only through the coordinated participation of the various components of the Federal criminal justice system. Tabulations of Federal offender characteristics have been published on an annual or biannual basis in the Federal Prison System's Statistical Report since 1928. Data on the size and distribution of the population are published weekly.

Uniform Parole Reports (LEAA/National Council on Crime and Delinquency).—The Uniform Parole Reports (UPS) are a product of the National Parole Institutes which is managed by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD). It provides

some information on the outcomes of parole. LEAA has been supporting this effort through grants to NCCD

Employment and Expenditures for the Criminal Justice System (Census/LEAA).—This survey collects detailed information on expenditures for criminal justice and employment for the Federal Government, States, all counties, all cities with a population of 10,000 or more and a sample of smaller municipalities. The expenditure data, which are required by law, provide the basis for the distribution of LEAA funds to State and local governments. Data are provided by sectors of the criminal justice system (for example, police, courts, etc.) annually.

The Directory of Criminal Justice Agencies (LEAA).-The Directory is a compilation of the addresses of all criminal justice agencies in the United States. The list is prepared by the Census Bureau in order to conduct its Employment and Expenditure Surveys. It is published by LEAA as an aid to other agencies, Federal, State and local, who need such a list to select statistical samples and for other purposes.

Comprehensive Data Systems (LEAA).- The Comprehensive Data Systems program is the LEAA Federal/State cooperative statistics program. In order to participate in this program each State is required to implement three modules. The State must: (1) establish a Statistical Analysis Center to coordinate all of the activities in the program and to provide the analytical capability for policymakers in the State; (2) develop an Offender Based Transaction Statistics Program; and (3) assume responsibility for Uniform Crime Reports. Two earlier separate components-Management and Administrative Statistics and Technical Assistance-have combined with the Statistical Analysis Center component.

The Statistical Analysis Centers and the Uniform Crime Reports have been described above.

Offender Based Transaction Statistics.-The Offender Based Transaction Statistics Program (OBTS) is designed to identify persons arrested for serious offenses and to follow such persons as they pass through the criminal justice system; recording the date and the disposition of each transaction. Each individual thus identified is assigned a unique identifier (FBI number) based on fingerprint identification. If such an individual is arrested subsequently for a "fingerprintable” offense, his new OBTS record can be associated with the original record. In this way information on recidivism can be developed. The CDS concept originally required that OBTS data be developed in conjunction with the

« PreviousContinue »