Methodology, Data Documentation, and User's Guide for the Employment and Crime Project's Survey of Brooklyn Arrested Persons

Overview

This 1985 report documents the micro-level labor market and crime data collected by Vera's Employment and Crime Project. The data includes information on labor market participation, arrests, periods of incarceration and a few demographic characteristics of a sample of 902 males predominantly arrested for felony offenses in Brooklyn, New York during July and August, 1979. The first section gives a very general overview of the study design, defines some terms relating to the data, and discusses the degree to which the sample represents the population from which it derives. The second section describes three data sets:

(1) a 1979 work experience interview consisting of extensive employment, job search and related items; 

(2) arrest histories that summarized "rap sheet" arrest charges along with disposition and sentence/incarceration data; and 

(3) 1980 follow-up interviews of a subsample of 152 participants that focused on selected background items, crime-risk perceptions and self-reported details concerning the summer 1979 sampled arrest. 

The general conclusions of the report were that the sample data was representative of the study population and consistent with other similar reports, the internal consistency of the study and interviews gives confidence in the data, the NYS arrest history information is seriously incomplete but appear to provide an adequate record of arrest charges, and that the follow-up interviews suffered from high rates of sample attrition through the difficulty of remaining in contact with interviewees.