Linking Deaths in Custody Reporting Program (DCRP) and National Death Index (NDI) data
assessing cause of death data reported to the DCRP
Noonan, M., Binswanger, I., Blatchford, P., Smiley McDonald, H., & Ellis, C. (2016). Linking Deaths in Custody Reporting Program (DCRP) and National Death Index (NDI) data: assessing cause of death data reported to the DCRP. In 2015 Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology Research Conference (pp. 1-12)
The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has collected, analyzed and reported on deaths in the U.S. correctional system annually since the passage of the Death in Custody Reporting Act (2000 DICRA, PL. 106-297) to address public concerns about the safety and humane treatment of suspects, defendants, and offenders while in contact with or under the control or supervision of criminal justice agencies. The 2000 DICRA required local jails, state prisons, and state, and local law enforcement agencies to report information on the circumstances of each death occurring while offenders were in custody or of persons in the process of arrest to the Department of Justice. The Deaths in Custody Reporting Program (DCRP) began in 2000.
In January 2013, BJS sent a batch of DCRP jail and prison death records for data years 2007 through 2010 to the National Death Index (NDI), and received a matched file within a month of initial submission. The arrest-related death portion of the DCRP was not included in the linking project, and is therefore, excluded from this paper. The goal of the NDI-DCRP matching project was three-fold: a. Determine how many DCRP records are reported to the NDI. b. Assess whether the NDI can provide cause of death (COD) for DCRP cases missing COD. c. Analyze the agreement rate between the NDI and the DCRP in regards to the final COD.