Chapter

Harvesting of Administrative Records

Howard N. Snyder

in The Future of Criminology

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199917938
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950430 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199917938.003.0015
Harvesting of Administrative Records

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This chapter chronicles the attempts by US agencies to collect uniform crime data from thousands of precincts and courts. Federal surveys such as the National Criminal Victimization Survey (NCVS) provide essential periodic information on crime levels at different geographic units, but also are the basis for criminal career research. Currently many national statistical systems are facing serious challenges with increasing costs and not meeting the demands of policymakers, researchers, and the public at large. For example, the NCVS is dogged by decreasing response rates and poor documentation of different forms of crime. The chapter makes the case that improvements are needed before administrative data are analyzed, including establishing data transfer agreements with the administrative agencies; developing a detailed understanding of the structure, logic and content of the administrative database; and creating programs able to extract the needed statistical information from the administrative databases.

Keywords: crime data; National Criminal Victimization Survey; data transfer; administrative agencies; crime reporting; criminal career research

Chapter.  2564 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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