This report presents the results of using offender-based transaction statistics to track 1979 Oregon arrestees charged with Part 1 felonies from arrest through sentencing, along with the time to disposition.
A total of 7,451 arrestees were tracked, and 73.2 percent resulted in the filing of charges, while 49.3 percent of the arrests resulted in conviction on some charge. When the arrest charge is for a violent offense, the probability of court filing and conviction is slightly less than when the arrest charge is for a property offense; however, incarceration for any length of time is somewhat more likely for those charged with a violent crime. Generally, conviction rates were lower for dispositions on arrest charges. There was a substantial amount of charge modification between arrest and disposition. For violent crime arrests, the arrest and disposition charges were the same in 56.1 percent of the cases. For property crime arrests, 69.9 percent had a match between arrest and disposition charges. The greatest average number of days to disposition was for arrests ending in conviction. Acquittal outcome produced the next largest average processing time, followed by cases dismissed. Regardless of the type of dispositional outcome, average time to disposition is greater for violent crimes than for property crimes charged at arrest. Also, average time to disposition increases as the prospects for both conviction and long-term incarceration increase. The concluding section of the report used the findings and additional policy research questions to examine the implications of the research. The appendixes present a glossary of Part 1 felony charge definitions and missing data. Tabular data are provided in the body of the report.