Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $159,826)
The National Corrections Reporting Program (NCRP) collects individual (or offender-level) data on prisoners entering and leaving the custody or supervision of state prison systems and discharges from parole, and persons under custody at yearend. These data are crucial to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) efforts to study important issues in corrections, including recidivism and reentry, success and failure on parole, changes in the racial and offense composition of prison populations, aging correctional populations and the implications for correctional health care costs, mortality in prisons and while under community supervision, factors affecting prison population growth (such as length of stay and admissions), and a variety of other topics. The NCRP data, which have been collected annually since 1983, are derived from state prison and parole administrative records. The completeness of the NCRP data, by type of data (prison admissions, or Part A; prison releases, Part B, discharges from parole, part C; and prisoners in custody at yearend, part D) may vary in terms of the variables for which data are provided and in the types of records provided. The purpose of this project is to undertake methodological research to enhance BJS capacity to use NCRP data for studying failure (and success) of state parolees, time served in prison and its contribution to changes in the size of the prison population, periods of imprisonment over the life course of offenders, and methods to address nonresponse in generating national-level estimates of transitions between stages of the imprisonment process. This methodological work is to focus primarily on two objectives: First, methods to weight or adjust NCRP data for nonresponse to produce national-level estimates of prison population movements are to be developed. Second, record-linkage methods are to be developed to track offender movements from entry into prison to exit from prison, from prison exit to discharge from parole, and from prison exit to return to prison. NCRP data covering a sufficient period of time are to be used to address substantive issues related to prisoner return to prison and changes in prisoner movements, at a minimum encompassing the period from 2000 through 2008 (or the most recent year for which NCRP data are available).