BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

clear image
Home  |  About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Help  |  A-Z Topic List
Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
clear image
Home | Courts
On This Page
About this Topic

The Prosecution and Adjudication Statistics Unit examines criminal and civil cases as they are processed through the judicial system, as well as the organizations that play key roles in the judicial process. The unit also oversees several specialized projects that focus on specific crimes, offenders, and systems, such as human trafficking, juveniles processed in state court systems, and tribal justice systems.

At the state level, BJS provides data on state court sentencing of convicted felons and criminal justice processing of persons charged with felonies. The adjudication and sentencing data series provides the only national source of information on judicial decision-making and the manner in which cases are managed and adjudicated as they traverse the criminal justice system. Through this series, BJS prospectively tracks felons from arrest through final disposition to determine the outcomes of case decision-making at each decision-point in the justice system. The data series provides estimates on the number of felony defendants released pretrial, factors associated with pretrial release such as defendants rearrested and the role of commercial bail bondsmen, the number of persons convicted of a felony in state courts annually, the types of sentences they receive, and the demographic characteristics of persons convicted.
BJS also sponsors several projects that examine the adjudication of civil cases by bench or jury trial in a national sample of trial courts. The data collection provides information on the characteristics of plaintiffs and defendants as well as case processing and outcome characteristics, including post-verdict relief and appeals.

The work of offices and systems critical to the judicial process, including the provision of indigent defense services, prosecutors' offices, and aggregate information on the work of state court systems, are also examined by BJS Prosecution and Adjudication Unit. The Court Statistics Project (CSP) provides state-by-state data on civil and criminal workloads in all state and local courts including case type, case filings, case processing, disposition, and appellate opinions. Data collected from public defenders and prosecutors’ offices allow BJS to analyze staffing, caseloads and expenditures associated with prosecuting and defending criminal cases in the nation’s courts.

Data Collections & Surveys

Publications & Products

Criminal Appeals in State Courts Describes the characteristics of criminal appeals resolved in state appellate courts in 2010.
  PDF (973KB) | ASCII file (35KB) | CSV (Comma Separated Values) (Zip format 19KB)

State Government Indigent Defense Expenditures, FY 2008–2012 - Updated Provides data on state government indigent defense expenditures for fiscal years 2008 through 2012.
  PDF (997K) | ASCII file (38K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 26K)

Felony Defendants in Large Urban Counties, 2009 - Statistical Tables Presents data on felony defendants for cases filed in May 2009 and followed up for up to 1 year after filing (2 years for murder cases); statistics covered include arrest charges, demographic characteristics, criminal histories, pretrial processing, adjudication, and sentencing.
  PDF (2M) | ASCII file (49K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 52K)
Part of the Felony Defendants in Large Urban Counties Series

State Court Organization, 2011 Presents 2011 data on the organization and operations of state trial and appellate courts and examines trends from 1980 through 2011.
  PDF (1.8M) | ASCII file (23K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 45K)
Part of the State Court Organization Series

Pretrial Detention and Misconduct in Federal District Courts, 1995-2010 Presents findings on general trends in pretrial detention and misconduct in the federal district courts between fiscal years 1995 and 2010.
  PDF (1.6M) | ASCII file (34K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 11K)

Pretrial Release and Misconduct in Federal District Courts, 2008-2010 Presents findings on pretrial release and misconduct among defendants in federal district courts for the combined fiscal years 2008. 2009, and 2010.
  Press Release | PDF (756K) | ASCII file (33K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Spreadsheet 29K)

Pretrial Release and Misconduct in Federal District Courts, 2008-2010 FROM 2008 TO 2010 FEDERAL DISTRICT COURTS RELEASED MORE THAN A THIRD OF DEFENDANTS PRETRIAL
  Press Release

Prosecutors in State Courts, 2007 - Statistical Tables Presents findings on felony caseloads and convictions in the 2,330 chief prosecutors' offices in the United States that handled felony cases in state courts of general jurisdiction.
  PDF (954M) | ASCII file (17K) | Zip format (38K)
Part of the Prosecutors in State Courts Series

Appeals of Civil Trials Concluded in 2005 Presents information on civil trials concluded in state trial courts in 2005 with judgments or verdicts later appealed to an intermediate appellate court or court of last resort.
  PDF (1.1M) | ASCII file (25K) | Spreadsheet (Zip format 19K)

Compendium of Tribal Crime Data, 2011 Focuses on BJS's existing data on key criminal justice issues in Indian country and addresses gaps in tribal crime data.

Terms & Definitions

Adjudication The act of a court in making an order, judgment, or decree.
Appellate Courts Any court of law that is empowered to hear an appeal of a trial court or other lower tribunal.
Assigned counsel The appointment from a list of private bar members who accept cases on a judge-by- judge, court-by-court, or case-by-case basis. This may include an administrative component and a set of rules and guidelines governing the appointment and processing of cases handled by the private bar members.
Bench trial (nonjury trial) A trial held in the absence of a jury and decided by a judge culminating in a judgment for the plaintiff(s) or defendant(s).
Capital cases Crimes that can result in a death penalty.
Related Links