Bethlehem [Pennsylvania] Police Family Group Conferencing Project, 1993-1997 [electronic resource] / Paul McCold, Benjamin Wachtel

Data file
ICPSR Version, 2006-03-30.
Ann Arbor, Mich. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor] 2000.
9 data files + machine-readable documentation (PDF) + SAS setup file(s) + SPSS setup file(s) + Stata setup file(s) + SAS transport + SPSS portable + Stata system


Restrictions note
Use of these data are restricted to Princeton University students, faculty, and staff for non-commercial statistical analysis and research purposes only.
Summary note
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the implementation of conferencing as a restorative policing practice. Family group conferencing is considered an important new development in restorative justice practice as a means of dealing more effectively with young first-time offenders by diverting them from court and involving their extended families and victims in conferences to address their wrongdoing. Cases deemed eligible for the study were property crimes including retail and other thefts, criminal mischief and trespass, and violent crimes including threats, harassment, disorderly conduct, and simple assaults. A total of 140 property crime cases and 75 violent crime cases were selected for the experiment, with two-thirds of each type randomly assigned to a diversionary conference (treatment group) and one-third of each type assigned to formal adjudication (control group). Participation in the conference was voluntary. If either party declined or if the offender did not admit responsibility for the offense, the case was processed through normal criminal justice channels. Those cases constituted a second treatment group (decline group). The Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Police Department and the Community Service Foundation conducted a two-year study on the effectiveness of police-based family group conferencing. Beginning on November 1, 1995, 64 conferences were conducted for the study. Approximately two weeks after their cases were disposed, victims, offenders, and offenders' parents in the three experimental groups (control, conference, decline) were surveyed by mail, in-person interviews, or telephone interviews. Those who participated in conferences (Parts 4, 6, and 8) received a different questionnaire than those whose cases went through formal adjudication (Parts 5, 7, and 9), with similar questions to allow for comparison and some questions particular to the typ... Cf.:
Title from ICPSR DDI metadata of 2006-09-15.
Type of data
9 data files + machine-readable documentation (PDF) + SAS setup file(s) + SPSS setup file(s) + Stata setup file(s) + SAS transport + SPSS portable + Stata system
Time and place of event
Start: 1993; and end: 1997.
Geographic coverage
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States
Funding information
United States Department of Justice. NationalInstitute of Justice. 95-IJ-CX-0042
System details
Mode of access: Internet.
Methodology note
  • Data source: Data for Parts 1 and 2 were obtained from administrative records. Data for Parts 3 to 9 were obtained through personal and telephone interviews and mail-back questionnaires.
  • Universe: Offenders, parents of offenders, and victims from cases eligible for the study in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, between November 1995 and 1997.
Part 1: Disposition Data on Cases From Five District Magistrates; Part 2: Disposition Data on Cases in the Study; Part 3: Police Survey Data; Part 4: Offender Conference Data; Part 5: Offender Court Data; Part 6: Parent Conference Data; Part 7: Parent Court Data; Part 8: Victim Conference Data; Part 9: Victim Court Data
Other format(s)
Also available as downloadable files.
Statement on language in description
Princeton University Library aims to describe library materials in a manner that is respectful to the individuals and communities who create, use, and are represented in the collections we manage. Read more...
Other views
Staff view

Supplementary Information