Establishment data collections rely on the foundation of an accurate and complete sampling frame. Longitudinal establishment studies have the additional challenge of tracking changes to their frames due to openings and closures or changes in contact information. To address the challenges associated with maintaining frame accuracy and a high level of coverage over time, a variety of strategies is required.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) oversees several longitudinal data collections that involve gathering information from and about locally operated correctional facilities (i.e., jails). Whether the collection is a census of all facilities, such as the Census of Jails [COJ] or the Mortality in Correctional Institutions [MCI] study), or a survey involving a sample of facilities (such as the Annual Survey of Jails [ASJ]), development of a complete and accurate frame of every jail in the United States is critical. For both types of collections, every jail should have the opportunity to be included (in the collection or the sample). A complete frame is also essential to produce post-collection analytic weights.
This presentation will enumerate, describe, and assess each of the strategies RTI and BJS have used to maintain and enhance the jail frame over time. Strategies include regular annual maintenance and special efforts carried out when RTI first began working with BJS on these collections and in advance of each COJ.