Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $999,876)
Since the early 1970's, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has periodically conducted surveys of prison and jail inmates, which have become the flagship collections for the BJS Corrections Statistics Program. The primary purposes of these omnibus surveys are to generate nationally-representative estimates of the characteristics of prison and jail inmates and to track changes in these characteristics over time; to conduct studies of inmates on special topics; and to identify policy-relevant changes in prison and jail inmates. The purpose of the Survey of Inmates in Prisons and Local Jails (SIPLJ): Design and Testing Phase project is to redesign the surveys to achieve the following goals: improve data quality, enhance the reliability of the estimates by potentially increasing sample size, collect additional information to address substantive data gaps, collect data from existing administrative sources if possible, take advantage of new methodologies to collect self-report data, and to potentially reduce costs over time. The redesign effort focuses on enhancing the survey instrument and developing protocols, cognitive testing of the new instrument, field testing the revised instrument, modifying the instrument for an audio computer-assisted format to ensure the confidentiality of all responses, developing alternative sample designs, developing methods for joint administration of the prison and jail portions, developing a facility-level survey, and protocols, to provide contextual data for the inmate data collected from sampled facilities, and providing alternative plans for fielding the national implementation of the surveys planned for 2012.