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Profiling Felony Cases in the NACM Network

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2001
Through comparing felony caseloads and trends at the individual State trial court level, this article discusses the similarities and differences existing in felony filing trends among urban trial courts.

Arguing that nationwide State trial court felony filings, observed between 1998 and 1999, have declined by 2 percent, this article compares felony caseloads and trends at the individual trial court level. Annual felony filing, disposition, and pending caseload data generated from 17 courts which are members of the National Association for Court Management (NACM) Trial Court Network were analyzed along with the manner in which cases were resolved through pleas, jury trials, and dismissals. Profiles of trial courts in Brooklyn, Houston, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, and Seattle provided additional information used in comparing the Network courts. Comparisons of felony caseloads among the five cities profiled are presented in a series of tables and graphs. Analysis of the trends in these 5 cities, in conjunction with the data from the 17 Network courts, indicates that it is difficult to determine the relationship between crime rates and court filing data due to differences in data definitions and reporting practices. This article concludes that efforts to develop standardized definitions and counting procedures will provide data connectivity across the justice system.

Date Published: August 1, 2001