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FY 2022 Survey of Inmates in Local Jails: Pretest Sample Enhancement

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The main objectives of this project are to conduct research on the Survey of Inmates in Local Jails (SILJ) instrument and sampling design and to create and pilot test a revised instrument and sampling method for the next iteration of the survey collection. BJS plans to conduct a pretest of the revised SILJ which includes changes to address current issues of the local jail population, the need to make SILJ comparable to other federal instruments, a test of a version for Spanish-speaking individuals, and to reduce the burden on respondents. As the COVID-19 pandemic caused multiple delays in testing the survey instrument, administrative costs and several no-cost extensions have led to significant reductions in the overall sample size which would diminish the utility of the project. This supplement boosts the sample back up to the OMB-approved level of 360 inmates in 10 local jails. With the supplement, the awardee will conduct the pretest on behalf of BJS starting in quarter 2 of 2022 (pending COVID-19 restrictions), and the pretest will proceed in two rounds. In round 1, the awardee will recruit 36 adult male and female inmates from one jail to participate in the pretest; and administer the consent form and the full survey instrument using computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI). This round of the pretest will focus on identifying any issues with the skip logic or length of the instrument that would need to be addressed before continuing with the pretest. In round 2, the awardee will administer the consent form and the full instrument to 324 inmates in nine jails. The second round of the SILJ pretest will help BJS measure the average timing of the survey and identify potential issues with question wording of the informed consent script and the survey instrument.
Date Created: April 29, 2022