U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Polls: A Review: The National Crime Survey Redesign

NCJ Number
Public Opinion Quarterly Volume: 54 Issue: 2 Dated: (Summer 1990) Pages: 256-272
W G Skogan
Date Published
17 pages
This analysis of the effort to redesign the National Crime Survey (NCS) concludes that many improvements are being introduced, but that budget considerations prevented other changes and resulted in the continuation of several methodological limitations.
A research consortium formed to consider how the NCS could be redesigned to deal with issues that emerged after its introduction in 1972 and it issued its final report in 1986. The main problems addressed in the redesign effort were anomalous findings, the handling of series of related incidents, panel attrition, and undercounting and misclassification. The redesign group also faced several issues related to the content of the questionnaire. The group decided to add vandalism to the list of criminal incidents and to include items on victim behavior on the questionnaire. It has also added a supplement that focuses on school crime. However, it cut the size of the sample, converted the survey to one administered mainly by telephone, and did not solve problems of panel attrition and multiple victimization. Thus, the Bureau of Justice Statistics has adopted most of the lower-cost changes; further changes will depend on the budget. 9 references.