Official Record Information
Official record information regarding arrests and court involvement is regularly integrated into the Pathways data bases. This information comes from the juvenile and adult court record information systems at each site. In Philadelphia, this involves a hand review of juvenile and adult court documents; in Phoenix, we receive automated reports from their computerized court tracking systems (e.g. JOLTS- Juvenile On-Line Tracking System for juvenile court information, ICIS - Maricopa County Superior Court database for their adult court information). Agreements with both the juvenile and adult court systems in Phoenix permit data transfer on a daily (juvenile court) or monthly (adult court) basis. In addition, we obtain FBI records for arrests reported nationwide for study participants on a yearly basis.
Information from these different data sources is consolidated into the following categories:
- Information regarding petitions prior to the baseline interview date (those juvenile court appearances occurring before the date of the baseline interview)
- Information regarding the study index petition (also called the initial referring petition; the adjudication that prompted study enrollment).
- Information regarding arrests and court petitions which occurred after the baseline interview date in the Pathways study (called re-arrests).
- Information regarding court-ordered juvenile placement.
Some important distinctions about petitions
Distinctions between court petitions (priors, initial referring and rearrest) are for our study purposes only and are not based on any court categorization. They are derived using the following logic, which is simply applicable to the time frames covered by study involvement. Each study participant has one initial referring petition. This is the petition which is linked to enrollment in the Pathways study; that is, it is the court petition upon which selection for the study was based. Petitions prior to the baseline interview date include the initial referring petition as well as any other petition before the baseline interview date. All court petitions that occur following the baseline interview date are here referred to as a "re-arrests".
Another important distinction should be noted. The data regarding "prior petitions" considers only arrests that lead to a petition to court. As such, it does not necessarily account for all arrests experienced by the study participant prior to the baseline interview for the Pathways study (since some arrests do not lead to a petition in court). Re-arrests, on the other hand, are not limited to only incidents that make it to a court appearance. Incidents resulting in just an arrest could be detected in the FBI data bases used.
Most Serious Adjudicated Charge
The adjudication status noted in the court records regarding the Pathways study initial referring petition were examined and coded to determine the most serious adjudicated charge. This most serious adjudicated charge was the basis for study eligibility. Adjudication status was only a factor for the study initial referring petition, it is not available for the priors and/or rearrests.
All charges appearing on the study initial referring petition as well as priors and rearrests were assigned a severity ranking using the Gottfredson severity ranking system (Gottfredson & Baron (1993) Deinstitutionalization of juvenile offenders. Criminology, 31, 592-611). The charge on each petition/arrest that is the most serious according to this ranking system is provided along with the grade and rank value. Of note, this determination is made independent of whether the individual was found guilty (adjudicated) of the charge. Furthermore, the FBI records include arresting charges that may later be dropped. Both of these situations (adjudication status and potentially dropped charges) should be considered when interpreting this data. More details about the coding procedures are available through the study Coordinating Center at the University of Pittsburgh.
Binary indicators by petition
For each petition/arrest we also provide a series of binary indicators of the types of other charges appearing on the petition/arrest record. We provided this information since specific charge information is only provided for the charge of the highest severity. A binary marker (yes/no) is provided to indicate the presence of a person crime (e.g. aggravated assaulted, murder), property crime charge (e.g., robbery, receiving stolen property), weapons (e.g. possession of unlicensed firearm), sex offense (e.g. rape, involuntary deviant sexual intercourse) drug (e.g. possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver) and substance use (e.g. drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, knowing/intentionally possessing controlled substance and other crimes that could be confounded with substance use). More details about the coding procedures are available through the study Coordinating Center at the University of Pittsburgh.
The variables below reflect information from official court records. These are not based on self report. Self report information regarding monthly arrests is available in the "Contacts with the Justice System" calendar codebook section.
Summary Variables available
Below we list the specific variables available in three broad areas: context (adult vs. juvenile court, study site), petitions and court ordered placements.
- A marker indicating the court system (juvenile or adult) in which the initial referring petition was heard [Court]
- A marker which indicates which study data collection site the subject is from [Site]
- Month and year in which the initial referring petition falls [IR_PetDate]
- Source of the initial referring petition [IR_Src]
- A text description of the most serious charge, independent of adjudication status [IR_Desc]
- Grade of most serious charge on the initial referring petition [IR_Grade]
- Seriousness ranking of most serious charge on the initial referring petition [IR_SRank]
- Marker for the presence of a person crime charge on the initial referring petition [IR_Person]
- Marker for the presence of a property crime charge on the initial referring petition [IR_Property]
- Marker for the presence of a drug charge on the initial referring petition [IR_Drug]
- Marker for the presence of a weapon charge on the initial referring petition [IR_Weapon]
- Marker for the presence of a sex charge on the initial referring petition [IR_Sex]
- Marker for the presence of a substance use charge on the initial referring petition [IR_Subuse]
- Age at the time of the initial referring petition [IR_Age]
- A text description of the most serious adjudicated charge [IR_MSAdjchrg]
- Grade of the most serious adjudicated charge [IR_MSAdjchrg_grade]
- Most serious adjudicated charge categories (e.g., person, property, weapon, etc.) [IR_MSAdjchrg_cate]
- Code for type of disposition ordered for the initial referring petition (e.g., fine, probation, etc.) [IR_dispostion_recode]
Priors before Baseline (excludes initial referring petition)
Technically, the study initial referring petition is a "prior" in the sense that it is a petition which falls before the baseline interview. We have separated the initial referring petition from priors for our purposes here because the initial referring petition has more information associated with it than the other prior petitions. However, for a complete understanding of petitions prior to the baseline interview, the information regarding the initial referring petition should be included.
The series noted below repeats for a maximum of 15 prior petitions
- Month and year in which the prior petition fell [Prior_PetDate##]
- Petition type: prior to initial referring, initial referring, or after initial referring (and before baseline) [Prior_PetType##]
- Source of petition information (court or FBI) [Prior_Src##]
- Text description of most serious charge [Prior_Desc##]
- Grade of most serious charge [Prior_Grade##]
- Seriousness ranking of most serious charge [Prior_SRank##]
- Was there a person charge [Prior_Person##]
- Was there a property charge [Prior_Property##]
- Was there a drug charge [Prior_Drug##]
- Was there a weapon charge [Prior_Weapon##]
- Was there a sex charge [Prior_Sex##]
- Was there a substance use charge [Prior_SubUse##]
- Age at 1st prior (uses age at initial referring if no priors) before baseline [Prior_Age_first]
The series noted below (through Rearrest_Subuse##) repeats for a maximum of 24 rearrests
- Linear month in which the rearrest falls [Rearrest_MEnr#]
- Recall period month (s#m#) in which the rearrest falls [Rearrest_TpMo##]
- Source of rearrest information [Rearrest_Src##]
- Text description of the most serious charge (independent of adjudication status) [Rearrest_Desc##]
- Grade of the most serious charge [Rearrest_Grade##]
- Seriousness ranking of the most serious charge [Rearrest_SRank##]
- Was there a person charge [Rearrest_Person##]
- Was there a property charge [Rearrest_Property##]
- Was there a drug charge [Rearrest_Drug##]
- Was there a weapon charge [Rearrest_Weapon##]
- Was there a sex charge [Rearrest_Sex##]
- Was there a substance use charge [Rearrest_SubUse##]
- Number of arrests between baseline and 6 months [Bl_to_M06]
- Number of arrests between 06 and 12 months [M06_to_M12]
- Number of arrests between 12 and 18 months [M12_to_M18]
- Number of arrests between 18 and 24 months [M18_to_M24]
- Number of arrests between 24 and 30 months [M24_to_M30]
- Number of arrests between 30 and 36 months [M30_to_M36]
- Number of arrests between 36 and 42 months [M36_to_M42]
- Number of arrests between 42 and 48 months [M42_to_M48]
- Number of arrests between 48 and 54 months [M48_to_M54]
- Number of arrests between 54 and 60 months [M54_to_M60]
- Number of arrests between 60 and 66 months [M60_to_M66]
- Number of arrests between 66 and 72 months [M66_to_M72]
- Number of arrests between 72 and 78 months [M72_to_M78]
- Number of arrests between 78 and 84 months [M78_to_M84]
- Total number of rearrests (baseline through end of 84 months) [NRearrests]
Court placement variables
The following summary variables regarding court-ordered placements are available. Each variable is repeated for a maximum of eight times.
- The self reported stay from the services calendar that is the match for the stay reported in the court record [CRStay#_MatchStay]
- Facility code for the court recorded stay [CRStay#_code]
- Facility type for the court recorded stay [CRStay#_type]
- Recall period month (s#m#) the court recorded stay begins and ends [CRStay#_TpMoBegin, CRStay#_TpMoEnd]
- Linear month number that the court recorded stay begins and ends [CRStay#_LmoBegin, CRStay#_LmoEnd]
- Marker for whether or not the name of the facility recorded on the court record matches the self report facility name [CRStay#_MatchStayName]
- Marker to indicate the amount of agreement regarding the court recorded stay as compared to the timing of the self reported stay [CRStay#_MatchTiming]
Soon to come:
Medicaid: We obtained information regarding services provided to study participants who were covered by Medicaid during the recall period. Summary variables based on these records will be available in the near future.
Child welfare: We also reviewed records to determine whether the study participant was involved in the child welfare system. Summary variables based on this record review will be available in the near future.
Drug Screening: We received information regarding drug screening results for amphetamines, cocaine, THC and Opiates. Summary information from these records will be available in the near future.
Death Records: We obtained information from the National Death Index regarding Pathways study participants who were not located. Summary information from these records will be available in the near future.