This report provides statistical data and qualitative information on felony arrests in 1979 from initial screening by prosecutors to final disposition and sentencing.
Second in a continuing series sponsored by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), the report is designed to fill the gap in statistical information between arrest (covered by the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports) and incarceration (covered by the BJS's National Prisoner Statistics). Data from the report and its 1977 predecessor show that for every 100 felony arrests, 20 are rejected by the prosecutor at screening, 30 are later dismissed, 1 is acquitted, and 49 are found guilty. Of those found guilty, 45 plead guilty and 4 are found guilty at trial; 29 of the 49 are eventually incarcerated. Areas covered by the report include case attrition, prosecutorial charging, court dismissals, plea bargaining, trials, sentencing, and court delay. The 14 jurisdictions studied are Cobb County, Ga.; Geneva, Ill.; Golden, Colo.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Kalamazoo, Mich.; Los Angeles; Louisville, Ky.; Manhattan; Milwaukee; New Orleans; the State of Rhode Island; St. Louis; Salt Lake City; and Washington, D.C.