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Sentencing Outcomes in 28 Felony Courts, 1985

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 1987
This report presents and explains 1985 sentencing data on selected serious offenses adjudicated in 28 county jurisdictions.

Sentencing is reported for homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and drug trafficking. Nearly 3 out of 10 sentences involved jail, with determinate sentencing jurisdictions using jail more often than jurisdictions using indeterminate sentencing. The determinate sentencing jurisdictions imposed a much narrower range of sentences than did the indeterminate jurisdictions. The average prison term imposed in determinate sentencing jurisdictions, however, was 40-50 percent lower than indeterminate jurisdictions. Subclassifications of general crime categories revealed substantial differences in imprisonment rates and average prison terms. The number of charges on which a person was convicted affected sentencing outcomes such that only 39 percent of those convicted on a single charge received an average term of 73 months, in contrast to 80 percent of those convicted on four or more charges (average prison term was 150 months). Seventy-one percent of those convicted were 30 years old or younger. 42 tables and an appended discussion of methodology.

Date Published: July 1, 1987