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Compendium of Federal Justice Statistics, 1996

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 1998
This compendium presents national statistics for 1996 that describe all aspects of processing in the Federal criminal justice system, including investigations by U.S. attorneys, prosecutions and declinations, convictions and acquittals, sentencing, pretrial release and detention, appeals, probation and parole, and corrections.

During 1996, U.S. attorneys initiated criminal investigations of 97,776 suspects and concluded investigations of 98,454 suspects. Criminal charges were filed in U.S. district courts against 64,580 defendants and criminal cases were concluded against 61,434 defendants. Of the defendants, 53,076 or 86 percent were convicted, and most felony convictions (91 percent) were obtained by guilty plea. Of the 53,076 convicted defendants, about 69 percent were incarcerated, 24 percent were placed on probation, and 7 percent were ordered to pay a fine. About 91 percent of violent felony offenders and 92 percent of drug trafficking offenders received prison sentences, as did 79 percent of felony public order offenders and 59 percent of felony property offenders. The 36,373 offenders sentenced to prison received an average of 61 months of imprisonment, while the 12,644 offenders sentenced to probation received an average of 33 months probation. Drug defendants comprised 41 percent of felony convictions, while defendants charged with property and public order offenses accounted for 26 percent and 27 percent of felony convictions, respectively. Defendants charged with violent offenses comprised the remaining 6 percent of felony convictions. About 53 percent of the 51,063 defendants who terminated pretrial services were released at some time prior to their criminal trial. The U.S. Court of Appeals received 10,889 criminal appeals, and 46 percent of these appeals challenged both the conviction and the sentence imposed. Of 17,433 offenders who were serving probation supervision terms that terminated during 1996, 14 percent violated their probation conditions and 4 percent committed new crimes. Of 19,874 offenders who completed terms of parole or supervised release in 1996, 22 percent committed technical violations and 11 percent committed new crimes. The Federal prison population increased by 4,676 offenders during 1996 to reach a total of 92,672 persons. 3 tables and 1 figure

Date Published: November 1, 1998