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Publication Patterns of Robbery and Burglary in 9 States, 1984-88

Jacob Perez, Ph.D., Bureau of Justice Statistics

November 1, 1992    NCJ 137368

The States involved were Alaska, California, Delaware, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. In addition to presenting outcomes of felony arrests, average time to disposition, and offenders' demographic characteristics, the report draws on multiple charges and case changes to examine the dynamics of the process and the nature of the arrest offenses. Findings indicate that the median time between arrest and sentencing for a robbery was 4 months and for a burglary, 3 months. Approximately 89 percent of the robberies and 93 percent of the burglaries were processed by the criminal justice system within 1 year. Of nearly 1.5 million prosecutions reported in this study, more than 1 in 4 resulted in a court dismissal or acquittal, and almost 3 in 4 in a conviction. Approximately 1 in 5 conviction offenses resulted in probation; 13 percent resulted in a monetary sanction, a deferred sentence, or a completely suspended sentence as the most severe penalty. A majority of persons arrested for robbery or burglary were males under age 30; most arrested for robbery were black (63 percent) and most arrested for burglary were white (64 percent). As the cases moved through the criminal justice process toward a final disposition, 98 percent of the arrests for violent offenses were disposed of as violent offenses, and 97 percent of property arrests remained in the property category. Both robbery and burglary arrests were disposed of as the same offense 71 percent of the time. Although approximately 8 percent of the initial robbery charges were changed during the process to another violent crime category, approximately 20 percent were changed to a property crime. 11 tables

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