U.S. Department of Justice, Office Of Justice Programs, Innovation - Partnerships - Safer Neighborhoods
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Serving Children, Families, and Communities

Compendium of National Juvenile Justice Datasets

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The Compendium of National Juvenile Justice Data Sets is an online resource for researchers that is intended as an aid to investigations of juvenile offending, victimization, and contact with the juvenile justice system. It both publicizes data sources that users may find valuable and provides information intended to help with the practical aspects of obtaining and analyzing data.

The data sets described on this site cover a range of topics. They include, but are not limited to, the characteristics of violent juvenile offenders, student victimization at school, sexual activity, and substance use. Data sources include official records and self-report data from surveys. Many of the data sets are the product of collection efforts designed to produce nationally-representative data for juveniles of a particular age range.

For each data set, the Compendium includes descriptions under the following headings:
  • Summary: initiating organization, goals, and the duration of the data collection effort.
  • Sampling: whether the data come from a sample rather than a census or public records and, if so, relevant features of the sample design, such as stratification and clustering.
  • Data collection procedures: administration of the data collection effort.
  • Instrumentation: the protocol that guides data collection, such as forms, questionnaires, or record formats, including images of the data collection instruments, if available.
  • Key variables: of particular interest to juvenile justice research.
  • Quality controls: efforts to ensure the accuracy of reported data.
  • Periodicity: whether and at what intervals new data are added.
  • Representativeness: the population that the data describe. For example, the population described by the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey is public and private school students in grades 9-12 in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
  • Data access procedures: from whom the data are available and restrictions on data access.
  • Publications: links to a sample of publications that use the data.
  • Contacts: sources for further information about data content, structure, or availability.
The Compendium is a work in progress; additional data sets will be added over time. Users are invited to nominate data sets they think should be included; they may do so by contacting msickmund at ncjfcj dot org.