The U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has periodically sponsored the National Survey of Prosecutors (NSP) to collect data on the resources, policies, and practices of local chief prosecutors in state court systems. From 1990 to 1996, the NSP collected data from a nationally representative sample of chief prosecutors that tried felony cases in State courts of general jurisdictions. Since 2001, BJS has alternated between a census data collection (2001, 2007) and a nationally representative sample data collection (2005, 2011). For 2011, a sample of 475 prosecutors will be asked to participate. In addition, a sample will be drawn of offices that border Indian reservations. These Indian Country data will be collected in concordance with the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010.
NORC at the University of Chicago is coordinating the review and implementation of the NSP-11 questionnaire. This will be a multi-mode data collection, utilizing paper and pencil, web and telephone modes. The 2011 NSP will provide current data for decision making and allow for an examination of changes, consistencies, and emerging trends occurring in prosecutors’ offices. These emerging issues include cyber crime, human trafficking, youth in criminal courts and case processing. The NSP-11 will contribute to BJS’ rich knowledge base of prosecutorial functions across the United States. The NSP-11 will also be an opportunity for NORC to continue to collect high quality data for BJS, having completed the NSP in 2001 and 2005.