BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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How many persons were convicted of a felony in my state last year?

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) does not have conviction and sentencing information by state. Court statistics for individual states may be available by going to the state court website for a particular state. See the National Center for State Courts site for links to state court websites.

BJS does collect national-level statistics on race for criminal sentencing in state and federal courts:

A. State court sentencing statistics:

  • BJS compiles and publishes national statistics every two years on adults convicted of felonies in state courts. The statistics include information on the race or Hispanic origin, sex, and age of the person convicted. Demographic statistics of convicted felons can be found in two BJS publications—Felony Sentences in State Courts and State Court Sentencing of Convicted Felons.
  • Statistical table 2.1 of Felony Sentences in State Courts, 2004, indicates that, of the nearly 1,079,000 adults convicted of a felony in 2004 in state courts nationwide, 59% were white, 38% were black, and 38% were persons identified as  American Indians or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander.
  • State Court Sentencing of Convicted Felons, 2004 – Statistical Tables, provides more demographic statistics on felony sentence types and sentence lengths. Table 2.7 provides the average sentence lengths received among persons convicted of a felony in 2004, broken out by the race of the felon.
  • Felony Defendants in Large Urban Counties, 2009—Statistical Tables, provides criminal sentencing data in the nation's 75 largest counties. Individuals arrested and charged with a felony in state courts are sampled from 40 of the nation's 75 largest counties. Within those counties in 2009, 45% of felony defendants were non-Hispanic blacks, 30% were non-Hispanic whites, 24% were Hispanics or Latinos of any race, and 2% were non-Hispanic persons of some other race.

B. Federal Justice Statistics, 2009 — Statistical Tables presents national level statistics describing all aspects of case processing in the federal criminal justice system, including adjudication in the U.S. district courts, sentencing, appeal of convictions and/or sentences imposed for the 12 month period ending September 30, 2009.

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