U.S. Department of Commerce

National Judicial Reporting Program

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PURPOSE

The National Judicial Reporting Program (NJRP) is a study sponsored by the Bureau of Justice Statistics to obtain national data on the sentencing of convicted felons. The purpose of this study is to develop national estimates of felony sentences by type of crime and length and type of sentence.

COVERAGE

A sampled survey of felons sentenced in 300 select general jurisdiction courts in the U.S.. In 2004, there were an estimated 1,079,000 convicted felons in the U.S..

CONTENT

Data are collected on individuals convicted of felony crimes, including date of birth, gender, race, ethnicity; dates of arrest, conviction and sentencing; type of sentence imposed, length of sentence and the charge(s) on which sentenced.

FREQUENCY

Biennially since 1986, for even numbered years. Data are for felony sentences during the preceding calendar year.

METHODS

Two data collection methods are used: electronic data submissions and paper data submissions. A new sample is selected after three survey cycles.

PRODUCTS

Public use electronic files are produced by Census approximately 24 months after the reference year for the University of Michigan, under agreement with the Department of Justice. Files omit individual identifying information.

Felony Sentences in State Courts are bulletins published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) approximately two years after the reference year. They provide summary data for the Nation, including type of offense; average length of prison, jail and probation sentences; and selected demographic characteristics.

State Court Sentencing of Convicted Felons B Statistical Tables provide additional data from the survey which include crime definitions, standard error tables, and detail on methodology.

USES

The Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics uses the data to analyze criminal justice systems operations. State court administrators use these data to analyze individual courts and comparability of estimates of sentencing for the nation as a whole. Universities and researchers use these data to analyze sentencing practices. General news media also use the data.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Provide the only current national estimates of the number of felony sentences and the individual characteristics of convicted felons in the U.S.

RELATED PROGRAMS

Census of Governments

Annual Survey of Jails

State and Federal Adult Correctional Facilities Census


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