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“Crowd-sourcing” Information About Missing Frame Units (308149)Susan Brumbaugh, RTI International
*Scott Ginder, RTI International
Keywords: frame, census, coverage, jails
Ensuring a complete sampling frame for establishment data collections is difficult. To work around this, researchers might rely on multi-stage samples to avoid enumerating a frame for the entire population. For example, sampling counties and enumerating all jail facilities within selected counties would be less burdensome than identifying and listing all jail facilities in the country. However, when researchers are conducting a census, this method doesn’t work because the frame must provide 100% coverage of the units of interest.
In some instances, a frame might already exist and just need updating. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) Mortality in Correctional Institutions (MCI) collection frame starts from the frame developed during the BJS Census of Jails collection and is maintained annually through verification contacts with jail agencies and by monitoring passive Google alerts. Prior to the 2018-focused MCI collection period, we made additional updates to the frame to capture new jail facilities. Our presentation will describe and assess the impact of one method used to identify jail facilities potentially needing addition to the frame. This “crowd-sourcing” method relied on surveying existing frame units about nearby facilities while conducting routine verification updates of eligibility and contact information, then subsequently investigating the proffered jail facilities to determine suitability for the MCI frame.
MCI supports the BJS' mission to “collect, analyze, publish, and disseminate information on crime, criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the operation of justice systems at all levels of government…(providing) data…critical to federal, state, and local policymakers…” and is the only national statistical collection that obtains comprehensive information about deaths in the nation’s approximately 3,000 jails.