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Criminal Sentencing

• In 2004, state and federal courts convicted a combined total of nearly 1,145,000 adults of felonies -- state courts convicted an estimated 1,079,000 adults and federal courts convicted 66,518 adults (accounting for 6% of the national total).

• In 2004, 70% of all felons convicted in state courts were sentenced to a period of confinement - 40% to state prisons and 30% to local jails. Jail sentences are for short-term confinement (usually for a year or less) in a county or city facility, while prison sentences are for long-term confinement (usually for over a year) in a state facility.

• State courts sentenced 28% of convicted felons to straight probation with no jail or prison time to serve.

• Prison sentences in state courts averaged almost 5 years in 2004.

• The average sentence to local jail was 6 months. The average probation sentence was about 3 years.

• Females accounted for a quarter of felony property offenders


Information Provided by the Bureau of Justice Statistics

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