National Survey of Federal District Court Community Actors

Project: Research project

Project Details


This is the third phase of a three-part study of study interdistrict variation in case processing, sentencing, and organizational culture in the Federal Criminal Justice System (FCJS). Phase III will consist of a nationwide survey of all federal judges sitting in federal criminal court, all U.S. Attorneys, Chief Federal Probation Officers, and Chief Federal Public Defenders, and a random sample (stratified by circuit and district size) of Assistant U.S. Attorneys, Federal Public Defenders, private attorneys regularly practicing federal criminal law, and Federal Probation Officers. Phase III will draw upon the insights derived from the first two phases of the research to develop a survey instrument and collect nationwide quantitative data on federal district court community actors, relationships, practices, and culture. Specifically, the survey will focus on the following conceptual categories: 1) routine case processing strategies, 2) interorganizational relations between court community sponsoring agencies, 3) individual court community actors' characteristics and attitudes, and 4) court community culture/norms. The PIs will combine these data with existing USSC sentencing data and Urban Institute case processing data, and with aggregate contextual data on district characteristics. The PIs will also make the survey dataset available to other researchers by putting it in the ICPSR dataset archives.

Effective start/end date3/1/042/29/08


  • National Science Foundation: $124,651.00


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