Bulletin Reports

Felony Cases in Large Urban Counties

The Bureau of Justice Statistics has released Felony Defendants in Large Urban Counties, 2006. The document contains data collected from a representative sample of felony cases filed in the nation’s 75 most populous counties during May 2006. To provide a complete overview of the processing of felony defendants from filing to disposition and sentencing, nonmurder cases are tracked for one year and murder cases are tracked for two years. Data collected include current arrest charges, demographic characteristics, prior arrests and convictions, criminal justice status at time of arrest, type of pretrial release or detention, bail amount, court appearance record, adjudication outcome, and conviction sentence received. This periodic report has been published biennially since 1990.

Highlights reveal that about a fourth of felony defendants were charged with a violent offense in 2006; 43 percent of felony defendants had at least one prior felony conviction; and about a third of released defendants committed some form of pretrial misconduct, including 18 percent who were rearrested for a new offense committed while they awaited disposition of their case. Part of the Felony Defendants in Large Urban Counties Series, the publication (NCJ 228944) can be accessed at http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=2193