An Assessment of the Quality of Homicide Data in the Supplementary Homicide Reports: A Research Note

Jesenia M. Pizarro, April M. Zeoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)'s Supplementary Homicide Reports (SHR) is a national-level incident-based data clearinghouse for homicide events in the USA used in countless research studies to track homicide trends, test theory, and analyze policy. Despite its wide use, the SHR has well-known limitations. This research note examines the accuracy of the information in the SHR by comparing homicide cases in Newark, New Jersey with their respective data to determine the level of disagreement between the data sources, which variables exhibit the greatest disagreement, and the case-related variables related to the disagreement. Uniquely, we do this for cases where offenders are known in the SHR. Our findings suggest that variables such as victim-offender relationship and circumstance have high disagreement even when the SHR reports an offender, and that the most important covariate of this is time to close the homicide investigation with an arrest. Research implications of the results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)711-731
Number of pages21
JournalJustice Quarterly
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • SHR
  • data imputation
  • homicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law

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