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Criminal Cases in Five States, 1983-86

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 1989
Data from the Offender-Based Transaction Statistics (OBTS) program for California, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia show that these 5 States disposed of 1.9 million persons arrested for felony cases from 1983 to 1986.

Over 1.6 million or 84 percent of these persons were prosecuted, and about 1.1 million or 62 percent were convicted of a felony or misdemeanor. During the 4 years, more than 750,000 or 39 percent were sentenced to a State prison or local jail. The number of persons arrested per year for a felony increased by 18 percent from 1983 to 1986. The number of persons prosecuted rose 17 percent, and the number of persons sentenced to incarceration increased 28 percent. Drug offenses as a group showed the largest increase. Drug arrests were up 52 percent, drug prosecutions up 61 percent, drug convictions up 71 percent, and sentences to incarceration for drug offenses up 104 percent. Property offenses showed the smallest increase. Of every 100 felony arrests during the 4-year period, 41 were for property crimes, 26 for violent crimes, 17 for drug crimes, and 15 for public order crimes. Of the total number convicted, 18 percent received probation, 14 percent a fine or other penalty without incarceration, 50 percent a local jail sentence (usually for less than a year), and 18 percent a State prison sentence. Most persons arrested for a felony were male (86 percent), white (62 percent), and under 30 years of age (66 percent). 9 tables

Date Published: September 1, 1989