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Comparison of Drug Control Strategies in San Diego, 1989

Resource Type
Dataset : administrative records data, and survey data
  • Pennell, Susan
  • Curtis, Christine
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice
Free Keywords
arrests; convictions (law); drug law enforcement; drug laws; drug offender profiles; drug offenders; drug traffic; police departments; search warrants; sentencing; surveillance
  • Abstract

    This study assesses the consequences for offenders of various drug enforcement strategies employed by the San Diego Police Department and profiles the factors that characterize street-level and mid-level dealers, drug users, and the drug market. The drug enforcement strategies examined include the use of search warrants, body wires, police decoys, surveillance, officer buys and sells, wiretaps, and sweeps. Measures of the consequences of arrests include drug and property seizures, convictions, and sentences. The data were drawn from police and court records of drug arrests made by three special sections of the police department in San Diego, California. Additionally, data were collected through personal interviews conducted at the time of arrest with a subsample of persons arrested for drug charges. The arrest tracking file, Part 1, contains demographic information about the offenders, including criminal history and gang membership, as well as data on each arrest through final disposition, charges, and sentencing. The interview portion of the study, Part 2, provides information about the demographics and characteristics of drug users and dealers, criminal history and drug use history, current arrest information, and offenders' opinions about drug use, drug sales, police strategies, and the drug market.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: Arrest Tracking Data File
    • DS2: Interview Data File
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 1989
  • 1989-06 / 1989-11
    Collection date: 1989-06--1989-11
Geographic Coverage
  • California
  • San Diego
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Individuals arrested on drug charges in San Diego.
In Part 1, the Arrest Tracking File, the data were drawn from arrest records with at least one drug charge made by specialized narcotic and gang divisions at the San Diego Police Department from June to November of 1989. Individuals for the interview data were chosen using an availability sampling method. Two to three days a week, the logs of arrests were reviewed to develop a list of persons arrested for at least one drug charge by one of the three specialized police divisions. Women were excluded from the interview sample.
Collection Mode
  • (1) Data about the arrest case (including the arresting division, location of arrest, drugs and property seized, and the police strategies used in making the arrest) were recorded only for those individuals considered the key arrest in each case. In most instances the key arrest was the person with the highest, most serious drug charge. (2) The codebooks are provided as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided through the ICPSR Website on the Internet.

2000-03-21 The card image version of these data have been reinstated, and the SAS and SPSS data definition statements for the card image data have been replaced.1999-08-20 The card image files for this collection are no longer being distributed. Also, SAS and SPSS data definition statements have been added to the collection. Funding insitution(s): United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (88-IJ-CX-0034).
This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 9990 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR09990.v1
  • Pennell, S., Curtis, C.. Crack Abatement Comparison of Drug Control Strategies. San Diego, CA: San Diego Association of Governments Press. 1992.

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 8 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Pennell, Susan; Curtis, Christine (1993): Comparison of Drug Control Strategies in San Diego, 1989. Archival Version. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.