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Examining the Work of State Courts, 1998: A National Perspective From the Court Statistics Project

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1999
This report analyzes the workloads of State trial and appellate courts in 1998, and examines case processing and court performance with respect to felony litigation in 17 large trial courts.

Most of the information came from national databases of the Court Statistics Project. The 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico reported the filing of more than 91 million new cases in 1998, the largest amount since 1992. Most of the recent increase in State court caseloads resulted from a rise in traffic cases. The State trial courts had 28,793 trial judges and quasi-judicial officers. General jurisdiction courts added about 150 judges and limited-jurisdiction courts added about 80 new judges nationwide. Nearly 15.5 million civil cases that were not domestic relations cases were filed in State courts during 1998. Juvenile arrest rates for violent crime peaked in 1994 and dropped 23 percent in 1997. Criminal case filings in the State courts reached an all-time high of 14.6 million in 1998. The correctional population totaled in 1998, 5.9 million predominately sentenced to probation. The total number of appellate filings was just under 300,000 in 1998. Figures and tables

Date Published: January 1, 1999