Event: National Crime Victimization Survey 50th Anniversary Celebration

Logo of the 50th anniversary of the National Crime Victimization Survey

The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics is hosting a celebration for the 50th anniversary of the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) on September 27. The event will include a morning session and multiple afternoon sessions, both available in-person and virtually.

The morning session will be held at the Department of Justice Great Hall in Washington, D.C. from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. ET and will recognize the development and importance of the survey, along with its relevance and uses. The afternoon sessions will take place in the Main Conference Room at the Office of Justice Programs from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. ET and will discuss innovations to the NCVS over the years and what has been learned from its findings.

Speakers at the event will include leaders from the Department of Justice and the Office of Justice Programs, criminal justice researchers, practitioners and subject matter experts.

The NCVS serves as the primary source of criminal victimization-related information in the United States. The annual survey is distributed to a representative sample of about 240,000 people from about 150,000 households to assess the prevalence, characteristics and consequences of criminal victimizations.

Respondents are asked to provide information on whether they’ve experienced victimizations including non-fatal personal crimes and household property crimes whether they were reported or not, and the survey collects information about the crimes and respondent’s experiences with the criminal justice system if applicable.

The survey originated when the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice, a group created by President Lyndon Johnson, created a preliminary survey to determine the causes of crime in the U.S. and how to prevent it. The survey of 10,000 households detected unreported crime, so the commission launched an official version of what is now the NCVS.

The NCVS, initially called the National Crime Survey, first collected a full set of data on criminal victimization in 1973. The Bureau of Justice Statistics was not established until 1979, so the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration conducted the original survey. The survey was renamed the NCVS in 1992. The NCVS has evolved since its inception, including adding new data tools, instruments and supplements throughout the years.

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Emma Richards

Emma Richards is a student at the University of Florida studying public relations. She is the social science communications intern at Sage Publishing.

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