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Offender-Based Transaction Statistics: Tracking Offenders, 1990

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 1994
The Offender-Based Transaction Statistics (OBTS) Program of the Bureau of Justice Statistics traces felony arrests and prosecutions through final disposition and helps States evaluate major decision points in the criminal justice process; the current study examined felony case processing in 11 States using OBTS data on more than 500,000 felony cases.

Less than half of the more than 500,000 prosecutions reported in 1990 resulted in felony convictions. Most persons prosecuted for homicide (67 percent), driving- related offenses (61 percent), drug offenses (59 percent), and burglary (53 percent) were convicted of a felony. About 80 percent of those convicted of a felony received State prison or local jail sentences. Percentages of felony sentences involving incarceration ranged from 73 percent for public order offenses to 85 percent for violent crimes. The median processing time between arrest for a felony and adjudication by a State court was 100 days. Over 90 percent of all cases were adjudicated within 1 year. Homicide cases took the longest to adjudicate, a median of 207 days. Data on demographic characteristics of felony offenders are provided, and methods used by the OBTS Program are described. An appendix contains supplemental information on felony arrests and prosecutions. 12 tables and 2 figures

Date Published: June 1, 1994