does it completely reconcile NCVS components with other BJS data collection activities. As this panel continues the work of suggesting data collection priorities based on a fuller review of the suite of BJS programs, it is possible that some NCVS-related issues will have to be revisited in the final report.


Following this introduction, Chapter 2 reviews the current and historical goals of the NCVS, describing the various roles that the survey has been expected to fulfill. Chapter 3 then uses the goals of the NCVS to describe the major technical and operational issues surrounding the current conduct of the survey. In Chapter 4, we lay out several sets of goals for a reconfigured NCVS and describe the design choices that follow directly from particular sets of goals and priorities. We close in Chapter 5 with a look forward, making recommendations on how best to calibrate a victimization measurement system for the 21st century.

Appendix A reproduces the panel’s recommendations for ease of reference and—as previously noted—Appendix B recounts the principal findings and recommendations of National Research Council (1976b). As a reference for the reader and to enhance the flow of the main text, we have placed detailed descriptions of the NCVS and related programs in appendixes. Appendix C describes the sample design of the NCVS, as well as the interviewing procedures for the survey and the content of the survey instrument. In Appendix D, we describe other data resources that are available for studying aspects of criminal victimization; a major portion of that appendix describes the Uniform Crime Reporting program of the Federal Bureau of Investigation which—as the national inventory of crimes reported to police—is the data source to which the NCVS is most commonly compared for the purpose of assessing crime trends in the United States. Finally, in Appendix E, we describe other existing victimization surveys, such as those conducted in foreign countries (particularly the British Crime Survey) and those that have periodically been fielded in American states and cities.

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