Friday, August 03, 2007

Drug cases dominate state court convictions

According to aggregate national data just released from the Bureu of Justice Statistics, American state courts processed more than one million felony convictions in 2004, the most ever.

"Between 1994 and 2004 the number of felony convictions increased 24% in State courts" reported BJS. What's more, "Seventy percent of those convicted in 2004 were sentenced to incarceration." Since most all those represent multi-year sentences, you can see how that annualized conviction and incarceration rate can cause exponential prison growth.

Perhaps predictably, one-third (33.6%) of total state felony convictions in 2004 were for drug offenses (44% of those were for possession only). Violent offenses in state court accounted for 18% of state felony convictions. Via Doc Berman.

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