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National Inmate Survey (NIS) - Prisons: Alternative Survey Respondents Only, [United States], 2011-2012

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • United States. Bureau of Justice Statistics
Other Title
  • NIS Prisons: Alternative, 2011-2012 (Alternative Title)
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Collective Title
  • Prison Rape Elimination Act Data Series
Publication Date
Publication Place
Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research
Funding Reference
  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics
Free Keywords
Schema: ICPSR
correctional facilities; criminal histories; demographic characteristics; disabilities; health problems; inmates; mental health; military service; prescription drugs; prison conditions; sexual preference
  • Abstract

    The National Inmate Survey (NIS) is part of the Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS) National Prison Rape Statistics Program, which gathers mandated data on the incidence and prevalence of sexual assault in correctional facilities under the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA; P.L. 108- 79). Inmates are randomly assigned to receive either a survey of sexual victimization or a survey of criminal history, facility climate, and mental health. About 90 percent of the respondents completed modules through the survey of sexual victimization while the other 10 percent completed modules through the alternative survey. However, the data in this study focuses primarily upon criminal history, facility climate, and mental health. No respondent answered questions about sexual victimization.
  • Abstract

    The purpose of the National Inmate Survey (NIS) is to gather data on inmates experiences within the state and federal prison system. It is part of the Bureau of Justice Statistics Prison Rape Statistics Program that gathers data on the incidence and prevalence of sexual assault and rape in correctional facilities.
  • Methods

    Inmates are randomly assigned to receive either a survey of sexual victimization or an alternative survey. Facility staff, nor the interviewer, know which survey is randomly assigned to the inmate. Although respondents are randomly selected to one particular survey the only modules that respondents were asked to complete for this study were on the topics of demographics, veteran status, criminal history, disabilities, facility climate, and mental health. The survey typically takes an inmate 35 minutes to complete. The interviewer began the survey using the computer asking for basic background information. The remainder of the interview was conducted in private where the inmate interacted with a computer administered questionnaire using a touchscreen and synchronized audio instructions delivered via headphones. The interviewer either left the room or moved away from the computer while the inmate completed the interview.
  • Methods

    Questions from the NIS-3 included in this data file are from nine of the sections of the larger questionnaire: Section A: Inmate Demographics - race, ethnicity, education, relationship status, sexual history, sexual orientation; Section B: Inmate Criminal History - reasons for serving time in jail, total time spent in jail; Section V: Veteran Status - branch and wars served in while in the military; Section D1-D5: Sexual orientation, gender identity and marital status - marriage, relationships, sexual identity; Section S: Facility Climate - rating of facility staff, interactions with other inmates, experiences with assault, injury, and theft while in jail; Section R: Mental Health - past 30 days, last 12 months, and lifetime experiences with aspects of mental health such as depression and anxiety; Section Q: Disabilities - PTSD, hearing, cognitive disability impairing routine functioning; Section P: Physical Health - heart problems, stroke, blood disorders, prescription medicine, medical treatment; Section M: Interview Debriefing Items - interviewer's assessment of respondents effort, understanding, and experience during the interview ; The last section of the data file are derived variables created by the Principal Investigator.
  • Methods

    ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection: Created variable labels and/or value labels.; Standardized missing values.; Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes..
  • Abstract


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 2011--2012
  • 2011 / 2012
  • Collection date: 2011-02--2012-05
  • 2011-02 / 2012-05
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Inmates in state and federal adult confinement facilities (including military facilities) between February 2011 to May 2012 in the United States.
Between February 2011 and May 2012 the NIS-3 randomly selected 233 State and Federal prisons. A total of 73,873 inmates were selected during the data collection. A total of 43,156 inmates ended up participating in the survey. Of that total, about 10 percent (4,304 inmates) were randomly selected to complete the alternative survey. Of the 4,304 inmates who were selected and received the alternative survey, 3,833 individuals actually completed a sufficient amount of the survey. Please refer to the codebook for details about the study sampling provided by the Principal Investigator.
Collection Mode
  • audio computer-assisted self interview (ACASI)
  • computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI)
One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions; consult the study documentation to learn more on how to obtain the data.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 37019 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR37019.v1

Update Metadata: 2019-12-19 | Issue Number: 2 | Registration Date: 2019-12-19

United States. Bureau of Justice Statistics (2019): National Inmate Survey (NIS) - Prisons: Alternative Survey Respondents Only, [United States], 2011-2012. Archival Version. Prison Rape Elimination Act Data Series. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.