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Publication Felony Sentences in State Courts, 1992

Patrick A. Langan, Ph.D., Helen A. Graziadei, Bureau of Justice Statistics

January 1, 1995    NCJ 151167

In 1992, State courts convicted 893,600 adults of a felony, representing an increase of 34 percent from 1988 figures. Convictions for aggravated assault and drug trafficking rose the most. Despite the relatively large increase in convictions, the average elapsed time from arrest to sentencing did not increase since 1988, but stayed stable at approximately 7 months. Approximately 44 percent of felons in 1988 and 1992 were sentenced to prison, 26 percent to a local jail, and 30 percent to straight probation. State courts sentenced to death 2 percent of convicted murderers. Felons sentenced to a State prison received an average sentence of 6.5 years, but were likely to serve only about 2.5 years before release. The average sentence to local jail was 7 months, while the average probation sentence was 4 years. Of the total number of convicted felons in 1992, 92 percent had pleaded guilty. Nationally, 52 percent of convicted felons in 1992 were white, 47 percent were black, and 1 percent were of other races. 12 tables and 1 appendix


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