Analysis Using NIBRS Data: Drug Offense Analysis

The Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division, of the Education/Training Services Unit of the FBI has produced line graphs examining drug offenses.  These graphs are another example of the analysis that can be done using NIBRS.  NOTE: This syntax uses the Offense data file.  Please see Reading NIBRS Data into SPSS to create the necessary file.

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Three line graphs are presented.  Although the FBI looked at the rates of offenses occurring each month, the following examples present simple counts, which are easily graphed in SPSS.  One SPSS syntax file is available to produce all of the graphs presented below.

In 2000, there were 243,249 drug offenses reported in NIBRS.  Most of these (77%) were drug/narcotic violations.  All of these included the required type of criminal activity entry.  When all offenses are included together, possessing/concealing is the most frequently reported type of drug activity.

drug_activity.jpg (34481 bytes)

Since each offense can have more than one reported criminal activity type, the total does not equal the number of offenses.

Table 1.  User-Related Drug Activity

This table looks at the drug offenses (drug/narcotic violations and drug equipment violations) with a criminal activity coded as either buying/receiving or using/consuming.   Although other criminal activities may apply to users, they do not distinguish users from dealers and are not included in the following table. 

drug_users.jpg (37861 bytes)

As can be seen in this table, the majority of user-related offenses reported in NIBRS occurred in March, with the fewest reported in December.  These data should be graphed over multiple years to determine whether there is a large increase from December to January or whether user-related offenses continued to decline into 2001.


Table 2.  Dealer-Related Drug Activity

This table looks at the drug offenses with a criminal activity coded as distributing/selling.  Again, other criminal activities may apply to dealers, but they do not distinguish users from dealers and are not included in the following table.  

drug_dealer.jpg (43783 bytes)

Similar to the data for users, the number of dealer-related drug offenses reported in NIBRS occur in March, with a decline in June and July.


Table 3.  Comparison of User- and Dealer-Related Drug Activity

This table looks both of the previous information on one graph.  The trends are similar, with more offenses related to dealing drugs than using drugs reported in NIBRS.

drug_comp.jpg (45672 bytes)


Download SPSS Code (.sps)

When using this code, be sure and check that the variable names match the names in your data file.  If you need assistance using this file, please email JRSA.