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Doj Bjs Report on Prosecutors in State Courts Dec 2011

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U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
Bureau of Justice Statistics

2007 National Census of State Court Prosecutors

December 2011, NCJ 234211

Steven W. Perry and Duren Banks, BJS Statisticians

I

n 2007, 2,330 state prosecutors’ offices served
state judicial districts in the United States. The
offices reported a total estimated budget of $5.8
billion in 2007 and employed nearly 78,000 attorneys,
investigators, paralegals, and support staff. State
prosecutors closed 2.9 million cases charged as felonies
in state courts in 2007, approximately 94 cases for each
prosecuting attorney on staff.
The 2007 Census of State Court Prosecutors marked
the second BJS survey of all prosecutors’ offices in the
United States. The first census, conducted in 2001,
included the 2,341 offices in operation at that time.
The second census included the 2,330 state court
prosecutors’ offices operating in 2007. Neither census
included offices of municipal attorneys or county
attorneys, who primarily operate in courts of limited
jurisdiction.
State court prosecutors serve in the executive
branch of state governments and handle felony
cases in state courts of general jurisdiction. By law,
these prosecutors are afforded broad discretion in
determining who is charged with an offense and
whether a case goes to trial. The chief prosecutor, also
referred to as the district attorney, county attorney,
commonwealth attorney, or state’s attorney, represents

Table 1
State prosecutors’ offices, by population served, 2007
Population served
All offices
Full-time offices serving a population of—
1,000,000 or more
250,000 to 999,999
100,000 to 249,999
99,999 or less
Part-time offices

Number
2,330

Percent
100%

43
211
341
1,389
346

1.8%
9.1
14.6
59.6
14.8

Source: BJS, Census of State Court Prosecutors’ Offices, 2007.

the state in criminal cases and is answerable to the
public as an elected or appointed public official.
The Office of the United States Attorney for the
District of Columbia is the only federal prosecutor
included in the census. This unique office is
responsible for prosecution of serious local crimes
committed in the District and also for prosecution of
federal cases, whether criminal or civil.
These tables describe the operational and
administrative functions of the offices that prosecute
criminal offenses in state courts, including felony
caseloads, office budgets and staffing, and prosecution
of particular criminal offenses in 2007.

Tables and Figures
Table 1. State prosecutors’ offices, by population
served, 2007

Table 8. Prosecution of specific felony offenses, by
population served, 2007

Table 2. State prosecutors’ offices budget and staffing,
by population served, 2007

Table 9. State court prosecutors’ office use of DNA
evidence, 2007

Table 3. Percent of persons employed in state
prosecutors’ offices, 2007

Table 10. Type of disposition information reported to
data repositories by state court prosecutors’ offices,
2007

Table 4. Felony cases closed by state prosecutors’
offices, by population served, 2007
Table 5. Tenure and salary of chief prosecutors, by
population served, 2007
Table 6. Assistant prosecutors’ minimum and
maximum salary in state prosecutors’ offices, by
population served, 2007
Table 7. State prosecutors’ offices receiving threats and
percent with staff who carry firearms, by population
served, 2007

Bureau of Justice Statistics · Statistical Tables

Prosecutors in State Courts,
2007 - Statistical Tables

Table 11. Standard errors of critical variables, by data
source, 2007
Figure 1. Average assistant prosecutors salary, by
experience and population served, 2007
Figure 2. Prosecutors’ offices handling cases involving
children and elderly victims or school crime, 2007
Figure 3. Type of disposition information reported to
data repositories by state court prosecutors’ offices, 2007

BJS

Summary findings
Populations served
ƒƒ
In 2007, 2,330 prosecutors’ offices across the United States
served districts with populations ranging in size from 500
to 9.9 million residents (not shown in table).

Felony cases processing and dispositions
ƒƒ
Prosecutors’ offices reported closing 2.9 million cases
charged as felonies in 2007 through convictions, acquittals,
dismissals, or other dispositions (table 4).

ƒƒ
Most (74%) prosecutors’ offices served districts with a
population of less than 100,000 residents. Fifteen percent
of prosecutors’ offices were part-time offices with no fulltime chief prosecutor (table 1).

ƒƒ
Offices in districts with more than 1 million residents
closed an average of 17,652 felony cases in 2007. Offices
serving jurisdictions with 250,000 to 999,999 residents
closed an average of 4,431 felony cases.

ƒƒ
State prosecutors’ districts (85%) generally correspond
with county boundaries. Alaska, Delaware, Connecticut,
and Rhode Island had a single prosecutors’ office for the
entire state (not shown in table).

ƒƒ
In 2007, prosecuting attorneys in offices in districts with
100,000 to 249,999 residents closed an average of 121
felony cases each. The average caseload per prosecuting
attorney across all full-time offices was 94 felony cases.

Operating budgets and staffing levels
ƒƒ
The total operating budget ($5.8 billion) of state
prosecutors’ offices in 2007 decreased by 5% from the $6.1
billion budget for 2001 (inflation-adjusted to 2007 dollars)
(not shown in table).
ƒƒ
The average operating budget for full-time prosecutors’
offices in 2007 ranged from $526,000 for those serving
fewer than 100,000 residents to $49.3 million in
jurisdictions serving more than 1 million. The average
part-time office’s budget was $157,000 (table 2).
ƒƒ
State prosecutors’ offices employed almost 78,000 full-time
equivalent (FTE) staff in 2007.*
ƒƒ
The nearly 25,000 FTE assistant prosecutors employed in
2007 represented a 7% increase from the number reported
in 2001 (not shown in table).
ƒƒ
Prosecutors’ offices serving populations of 1 million or
more employed an average of 535 FTE staff, including 187
assistant prosecutors, 31 supervisory attorneys, 16 victim
advocates, 51 investigators, and 183 support staff.
ƒƒ
In full-time offices serving fewer than 100,000 residents,
on average, offices included one chief prosecutor, three
assistant prosecutors, one victim advocate, one legal
services staff, one investigator, and three support staff.
ƒƒ
Assistant prosecutors comprised 32% of the total staff
in prosecutors’ offices in 2007. Support staff, including
administrative and clerical staff, accounted for 33% of the
total staff (table 3).
*Full-time equivalent (FTE) is a computed statistic calculated by dividing
the total number of hours worked by part-time employees by the standard
number of hours for a full-time employee (40 hours per week) and then
adding the resulting quotient to the number of full-time employees.

2	

ƒƒ
The budgeted cost per felony case closed, calculated as the
total office budget in 2007 divided by the number of felony
cases closed, was $2,792 in offices serving 1 million or
more residents.
ƒƒ
Prosecutors’ offices reported 2.2 million convictions for
cases charged as felonies in 2007.
ƒƒ
Prosecutors’ offices serving 1 million or more residents had
an average of 11,952 felony case convictions, while fulltime offices serving populations of less than 100,000 had
an average of 315 felony case convictions.
ƒƒ
Felony cases adjudicated through jury verdicts were rare
across state prosecutors’ offices, accounting for an average
of 3% of all felony case dispositions and 2% of dispositions
litigated by offices serving 1 million or more residents.
Tenure and salary
ƒƒ
The average annual salary of a chief prosecutor in 2007
was $98,000, with mean salaries ranging from $165,700 for
chief prosecutors in the largest offices to less than $45,000
in part-time offices (table 5).
ƒƒ
In 2007, the average tenure of a chief prosecutor was
9 years.
ƒƒ
Sixty-four percent of chief prosecutors had been in office
for more than 5 years, and 38% had been in office for more
than 10 years. The longest serving prosecutor had been in
the position for 42 years.
ƒƒ
The average annual salary for assistant prosecutors ranged
from $33,460 for entry-level assistant prosecutors in parttime offices to $108,434 for assistant prosecutors with 6 or
more years of experience in offices serving jurisdictions of
1 million or more residents (table 6).

Prosecutors in State Courts, 2007 - Statistical Tables

ƒƒ
In offices serving 1 million or more residents, the average
assistant prosecutor’s salary started at $51,354 for those
with no experience and at $73,010 for those with 6 years or
more experience, a difference of 42% (figure 1).

ƒƒ
More than 90% of offices in districts serving 1 million
residents reported prosecuting felony offenses involving
use of the internet for child exploitation, elder abuse, gangrelated violence, and school violence involving firearms.

ƒƒ
In offices serving between 250,000 and 999,999 residents,
the average assistant prosecutor’s salary started at $47,580
for those with no experience and at $65,400 for those with
6 years or more experience, a difference of 37%.

ƒƒ
In 2007, part-time offices and those serving less than
100,000 residents were less likely than offices serving larger
populations to handle cases involving children and elderly
victims or school crime (figure 2).

ƒƒ
In full-time offices serving less than 100,000 residents, the
average assistant prosecutor’s salary started at $42,380 for
those with no experience and at $53,113 for those with 6
years or more experience, a difference of 25%.

ƒƒ
The percentage of offices prosecuting cases involving elder
abuse (55%) or child exploitation using the internet (57%)
was about 50% higher than the percentage prosecuting
cases of school violence involving a firearm (27%).

ƒƒ
In part-time offices the average assistant prosecutor’s
salary started at $33,460 for those with no experience and
at $36,481 for those with 6 years or more experience, a
difference of 9%.
Threats against prosecutors’ offices
ƒƒ
In 2007, almost half (47%) of prosecutors’ offices had
received a written threat, a threatening phone call, a faceto-face threat, or had staff who were victims of battery or
assault (table 7).
ƒƒ
About 26% of offices reported receiving written threats,
while 32% received threatening phone calls and 29%
received face-to-face verbal threats. About 3% of offices
reported that one of their staff had been a victim of battery
or assault.
ƒƒ
Most offices (89%) serving populations of 1 million or
more received a threat during 2007, as did most offices
(69%) in jurisdictions with 250,000 to 999,999 residents.
ƒƒ
More than two-thirds of offices serving populations
of 100,000 or more reported that the chief prosecutor,
an assistant prosecutor, or a staff investigator carried a
firearm.
ƒƒ
The percentage of offices reporting that a staff investigator
carried a firearm (34%) was greater than the percentage
reporting that the chief prosecutor (21%) or assistant
prosecutors (18%) carried one.
ƒƒ
The percentage of prosecutors’ staff that reported carrying
firearms has remained steady since 2001.
ƒƒ
The majority (58%) of offices that had received a threat
reported that office staff carried a firearm, compared to
37% of offices that had not received a threat (not shown in
table).

ƒƒ
About 6% of offices serving less than 250,000 residents
(including part-time offices) prosecuted police officers for
excessive force, while 55% of offices serving populations
larger than 1 million prosecuted such cases.
Use of DNA evidence in felony cases
ƒƒ
In 2007, most prosecutors’ offices (75%) used DNA
evidence in plea negotiations or in felony trials (table 9).
ƒƒ
The majority (84%) of prosecutors’ offices reported that
they had submitted DNA evidence to a laboratory for
analysis. Most (80%) offices used forensic laboratories
operated by the state government.
ƒƒ
More than half (60%) of state prosecutors’ offices that
had submitted evidence to a laboratory in 2007 reported
excessive delays in receiving the DNA results.
Case disposition information reported to repositories
ƒƒ
A large majority of prosecutors’ offices reported case
dispositions to either federal, state, or local repositories in
2007 (table 10).
ƒƒ
Most offices reported data on felony convictions (93%)
and misdemeanor convictions (80%) to data repositories,
while about 30% reported data on court determination of
mental status (figure 3).
ƒƒ
Fewer than a third of the offices reported dispositions for
commitment to mental institutions (31%).
ƒƒ
Among the offices that did not provide final case
disposition information to federal, state, or local
repositories, about 72% indicated another agency was
responsible for submitting this information (not shown in
table).

Specific felony offenses
ƒƒ
In 2007, the majority of prosecutors’ offices reported
prosecuting felony cases involving methamphetamine
production (71%), child exploitation involving the internet
(58%), or elder abuse (55%) (table 8).

December 2011	

3

Table 2
State prosecutors’ offices budget and staffing, by population served, 2007
All offices
Resident population served (thousands)
299,567
Budget (thousands)
$5,807,914
Budget per population served
Full-time equivalent personnel*
Chief prosecutor
Assistant prosecutors
Civil attorneys
Supervisory attorneys
Managing attorneys
Victim advocates
Legal services
Investigators
Support staff
Other

77,927
2,157
24,937
1,666
3,824
1,704
4,841
4,278
7,311
25,759
1,451

1,000,000 or more
Mean Median
2,025
1,470
$49,291 $35,981
$23
$21
535
1
187
12
31
13
16
35
51
183
6

Full-time offices serving a population of—
250,000 to 999,999 100,000 to 249,999
Mean Median
Mean Median
496
445
158
150
$9,998 $7,000
$2,327 $1,809
$19
$15
$14
$11

445
1
133
3
22
6
9
28
45
139
0

131
1
43
3
7
3
8
7
15
41
3

113
1
36
0
7
2
6
3
8
36
0

39
1
12
1
2
1
3
2
3
13
1

33
1
11
0
1
1
3
1
2
10
0

99,999 or less
Mean Median
36
29
$526
$336
$17
$13
10
1
3
0
0
0
1
1
1
3
0

8
1
2
0
0
0
1
0
0
3
0

Part-time offices
Mean Median
13
7
$157
$98
$18
$14
3
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0

2
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0

Note: Table is based on operating budgets, not actual expenditures. Data were missing for 5.5% (128) of offices surveyed. Total budget, total staff, chief prosecutor,
and assistant prosecutor values were imputed using data from 2001 and 2007 Census of State Court Prosecutors’ Offices, stratified by population served and state. See
Methodology for details on imputation procedures.
*Full-time equivalent (FTE) is a computed statistic calculated by dividing the total number of hours part-time employees worked by the standard number of hours for a
full-time employee (40 hours per week) and then adding the resulting quotient to the number of full-time employees. Statistics for job categories were imputed using
mean values for valid data from the 2007 Census of State Court Prosecutors’ Offices, stratified by population served.
Source: BJS, Census of State Court Prosecutors’ Offices, 2001 and 2007.

Table 3
Personnel employed in state prosecutors’ offices, 2007
Job categoriesa
Total
Support staff
Assistant prosecutors
Investigators
Victim advocates
Legal services
Supervisory/managing Attorneys
Chief prosecutor
Civil attorneys
Other
Estimated total full-time equivalent staff

Percent of total full-time
equivalent personnel in
prosecutors’ offices nationwideb
100%
33%
32
9
6
5
7
3
2
2
77,927

Note: Table is based on operating budgets, not actual expenditures. Data
were missing for 5.5% (128) of offices surveyed. Total budget, total staff, chief
prosecutor, and assistant prosecutor values were imputed using data from 2001
and 2007 Census of State Court Prosecutors’ Offices, stratified by population
served and state. See Methodology for details on imputation procedures.
aStatistics for job categories were imputed using mean values for valid data from
2007 Census of State Court Prosecutors Offices, stratified by population served.
bFull-time equivalent (FTE) is a computed statistic calculated by dividing the
total number of hours part-time employees worked by the standard number of
hours for a full-time employee (40 hours per week) and then adding the resulting
quotient to the number of full-time employees.
Source: BJS, Census of State Court Prosecutors’ Offices, 2001 and 2007.

4	

Prosecutors in State Courts, 2007 - Statistical Tables

Table 4
Felony cases closed by state prosecutor’s offices, by population served, 2007
Felony cases
Total closed—
Per office
Meana
Median
Per prosecuting attorneyb
Meanc
Median
Budgeted cost per case closed
Meand
Median

All offices
2,906,795

Total felony jury trial verdicts
Meane
Median
Percent closed by jury verdict
Meanf
Median
Total felony cases convicted
Meang
Median

1,000,000 or more
759,057

Full-time offices serving a population of—
250,000 to 999,999 100,000 to 249,999
934,884
622,073

99,999 or less
555,050

Part-time offices
35,731

1,248
300

17,652
14,304

4,431
3,347

1,824
1,427

400
226

103
32

94
75

81
82

87
77

121
102

106
73

99
42

$1,998
$1,764

$2,792
$2,376

$2,256
$2,140

$1,276
$1,307

$1,317
$1,667

$1,525
$2,968

73,274
31
7

14,077
327
230

25,721
122
69

16,974
50
30

15,450
11
5

1,051
3
1

3%
2
2,176,723
934
240

2%
2
513,918
11,952
8,730

3%
2
718,540
3,405
2,500

3%
2
476,337
1,397
1,089

3%
2
437,338
315
175

3%
1
30,591
88
25

Note: Based on imputed data from 2001 and 2007 Census of State Court Prosecutors’ Offices, stratified by population served and state. See Methodology for details on
imputation procedures.
aCalculated using the total number of felony cases divided by the total number of offices.
bIncludes full-time equivalent positions of prosecutors who carry a caseload (chief and assistant prosecutors and supervisors).
cCalculated using the total number of felony cases divided by the total number of litigating attorneys (chief and assistant prosecutors and supervisors).
dCalculated using the total budget divided by the total number of felony cases.
eCalculated using total number of jury trial verdicts divided by the total number of offices.
fCalculated using total number of felony cases closed by jury verdict divided by the total number of felony cases closed in 2007.
gCalculated using the total number of cases convicted divided by the total number of offices.
Source: BJS, Census of State Court Prosecutors’ Offices, 2001 and 2007.

December 2011	

5

Table 5
Tenure and salary of chief prosecutors in state prosecutors' offices, by population served, 2007
Full-time offices serving a population of—
Chief prosecutor
All offices 1,000,000 or more 250,000 to 999,999 100,000 to 249,999
Salarya
Mean
$98,024
$165,732
$138,017
$121,771
Median
$101,700
$158,000
$139,000
$119,800
Tenureb
Mean
9.4 yr.
9.5 yr.
9.8 yr.
9.6 yr.
Median
7.0
7.6
8.0
7.2
Percent of chief prosecutors with tenure of—
Less than 1 year
3%
5%
5%
3%
1–2
19
15
12
23
3–4
14
10
14
15
5–10
26
30
27
16
11–20
25
35
28
30
More than 20
12
5
14
13

99,999 or less

Part-time offices

$96,956
$99,750

$44,981
$ 42,660

9.0 yr.
7.0

10.5 yr.
7.0

2%
18
15
29
24
11

5%
21
9
22
24
19

aValues for chief prosecutors’ salary were imputed using valid data from the 2001 and 2007 Census of State Court Prosecutors’ Offices, stratified by population served and
state. See Methodology for further information on imputation procedures.
bData on the tenure of the chief prosecutor were missing for 7.4% of offices surveyed. All percentages were calculated from reporting offices only.
Source: BJS, Census of State Court Prosecutors’ Offices, 2001 and 2007.

Table 6
Assistant prosecutors’ average minimum and maximum salary in state prosecutors’ offices, by population served, 2007
Salary
Entry level assistant prosecutor
Minimum
Maximum
Assistant prosecutor with
1 to 5 years experience
Minimum
Maximum
Assistant prosecutor with
6 or more years experience
Minimum
Maximum

1,000,000 or more
Mean
Median

Full-time offices serving a population of—
250,000 to 999,999
100,000 to 249,999
Mean
Median
Mean
Median

99,999 or less
Mean
Median

Part-time
Mean
Median

$51,354
$64,517

$51,378
$58,013

$47,580
$57,759

$46,704
$51,707

$44,007
$55,263

$43,000
$48,000

$42,380
$50,050

$42,931
$46,000

$33,460
$36,712

$34,307
$39,000

$59,671
$82,227

$56,478
$79,296

$53,542
$68,993

$51,604
$65,000

$48,930
$62,074

$47,000
$57,585

$45,921
$55,248

$46,000
$53,134

$33,645
$36,391

$37,550
$40,691

$73,010 $68,609
$108,434 $111,987

$65,400
$94,257

$64,000
$90,796

$57,056
$83,139

$57,000
$79,566

$53,113
$64,932

$54,000
$65,000

$36,481
$42,473

$40,000
$44,990

Note: Based on data from prosecutors’ offices that responded. Salary data were missing for about 50% of offices.
Source: BJS, Census of State Court Prosecutors’ Offices, 2007.

6	

Prosecutors in State Courts, 2007 - Statistical Tables

Figure 1
Assistant prosecutors’ average minimum salary, by experience and population served, 2007
Population served
$51,354

1,000,000
or more

$59,671

$73,010

$47,580

250,000 to
999,999

$53,542
$65,400
$44,007

100,000 to
249,999

$48,930
$57,056
$42,380
$45,921

99,999
or less

Entry salary
(no experience)
1 to 5 years
minimum experience

$53,113
$33,460
$33,645
$36,481

Part-time
0

10,000

20,000

30,000

6 years or more
minimum experience
40,000
Mean salary

50,000

60,000

70,000

80,000

Note: Based on data from all prosecutors’ offices that responded. Salary data were missing for about 50% of offices.
Source: BJS, Census of State Court Prosecutors’ Offices, 2007.

Table 7
State prosecutors’ offices receiving threats and percent with staff who carry firearms, by population served, 2007
Type of threat/staff carrying firearm
Any threat*
Written threat
Threatening phone call
Face-to-face verbal threat
Battery/assault
Any staff carry firearm*
Chief prosecutor carries a firearm
Assistant prosecutor carries a firearm
Staff investigator carries a firearm

Full-time offices serving a population of—
Part-time
All offices
1,000,000 or more 250,000 to 999,999 100,000 to 249,999
99,999 or less
offices
Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
960
47%
34
89%
132
69%
154
54%
555
45%
85
28%
537
26
30
79
93
49
105
37
273
22
36
12
646
32
27
71
101
54
107
38
350
28
61
20
602
29
27
71
90
48
101
36
338
28
46
15
55
3
5
13
13
7
9
3
24
2
4
1
971
421
377
685

47%
21
18
34

36
6
13
35

90%
15
33
88

158
32
64
150

82%
17
33
78

189
59
81
162

66%
21
29
57

526
275
199
324

43%
22
16
27

62
49
20
14

20%
16
7
5

Note: Based on data from all prosecutors’ offices that responded. Data were missing for 12% of offices.
*Detail adds to more than total due to multiple responses.
Source: BJS, Census of State Court Prosecutors’ Offices, 2007.

Table 8
Prosecution of specific felony offenses, by population served, 2007
Type of felony offense
Methamphetamine production
Use of internet for child exploitation
Elder abuse
Gang-related violence
School violence involving firearms
Police use of excessive force
Terrorism/homeland security
Human trafficking

All offices
71.1%
57.5
55.2
33.6
27.2
9.2
3.9
3.8

1,000,000 or more
87.5%
97.5
95.0
95.0
92.5
55.0
17.5
40.0

Full-time offices serving a population of—
250,000 to 999,999
100,000 to 249,999
76.2%
78.8%
92.1
85.4
87.3
79.9
90.5
66.8
61.4
44.2
29.6
14.2
4.8
4.4
11.6
2.6

99,999 or less
71.8%
52.3
51.6
21.1
20.3
5.1
3.5
2.1

Part-time
56.0%
25.3
21.1
8.3
8.7
2.0
3.0
1.7

Note: Based on data from all prosecutors’ offices that responded. Data were missing for 15% of offices.
Source: BJS, Census of State Court Prosecutors’ Offices, 2007.

December 2011	

7

Figure 2
Percent of prosecutors’ offices handling cases involving
elder abuse, use of internet for child exploitation, and school
violence involving firearms, by population served, 2007
All offices

55
58

27

95
98
93

1,000,000
or more
87

250,000
to 999,999

61
80

100,000
to 249,999

44

99,999
or less

21

Part-time
offices

9
0

Use of internet for
child exploitation
School violence
involving firearms

25

20

40

Percent

85

Elder abuse

52
52

20

92

60

80

Table 9
State court prosecutors' office use of DNA evidence, 2007
Type of DNA use
DNA evidence submitted to any laboratory for analysisa
FBI forensic laboratory
State forensic laboratory
Local government forensic laboratory
Privately operated forensic laboratory
Used DNA evidence in plea negotiations or in felony trials
Problems associated with use of DNA evidenceb
Improper evidence collection by police
Inconclusive DNA results
Excessive delay in getting DNA results from laboratory
Difficulty in getting DNA results admitted in court as evidence
Authorized to search and submit DNAb
Convicted offender database
Forensic database containing profiles from unsolved cases

Percent
84.0%
10.3
80.0
9.9
26.7
74.5%
14.7%
38.8
60.0
2.5
47.8%
29.2

Note: Detail adds to more than total due to multiple responses to the survey.
aBased on data from all prosecutors’ offices that responded. Data are missing for
15% of offices.
bBased on offices that submitted evidence to any laboratory.
Source: BJS, Census of State Court Prosecutors’ Offices, 2007.

100

Source: BJS, Census of State Court Prosecutors’ Offices, 2007.

Table 10
Type of disposition information reported to data repositories, by state court prosecutors’ offices, 2007
Type of repository and case
All offices
Type of repository
Anya
56%
Federal
9
State
50
Local
26
Type of case disposition information reportedb
Felony convictions
93%
Guilty pleas
82
Misdemeanor convictions
80
Felony acquittals
79
Dismissal of charges by court
77
Misdemeanor acquittals
67
Sex offender registration requirements
61
Indictments
56
Probation and parole violations
54
Declination to prosecute
47
Protection orders
43
Commitment to mental institutions
31
Court determination of mental status
30

1,000,000 or more

Full-time offices serving a population of—
250,000 to 999,999 100,000 to 249,999

99,999 or less

Part-time

50%
18
45
33

62%
13
56
32

59%
12
52
28

56%
9
49
26

50%
5
47
21

95%
80
80
85
85
75
60
70
55
55
55
50
45

88%
83
75
77
77
63
61
61
48
58
44
42
40

92%
84
73
80
78
65
57
69
53
52
44
33
32

93%
82
80
79
77
67
62
55
55
47
44
29
30

96%
79
90
78
74
72
60
43
57
32
39
21
20

Note: Based on data from all prosecutors’ offices that responded. Data are missing for 15% of offices.
aDetail adds to more than total due to multiple responses.
bAnalysis restricted to offices that provided case disposition information to any repository.
Source: BJS, Census of State Court Prosecutors’ Offices, 2007.

8	

Prosecutors in State Courts, 2007 - Statistical Tables

Figure 3
State court prosecutors’ offices that report data to repositories, by type of data reported, 2007
Court determination of mental status

30

Commitment to mental institutions

31

Protection orders

43

Declination to prosecute

47

Probation and parole violations

54

Indictments

56

Sex offender registration

61

Misdemeanor acquittals

67

Dismissal of charges by court

77

Felony acquittals

79

Misdemeanor convictions

80

Guilty pleas

82

Felony convictions

93
0

20

40

Percent

60

80

100

Note: Data on participation in record repositories were missing for 15% of prosecutors’ offices. Percentages based on valid data only.
Source: BJS, Census of State Court Prosecutors’ Offices, 2007.

December 2011	

9

Methodology
The 2007 National Census of State Court Prosecutors (NCSP07) included 2,330 chief prosecutors in the United States that
handled felony cases in state courts of general jurisdiction.
State court prosecutors serve districts determined by each
state’s court structure.
Data collection. The Urban Institute collected the data on
behalf of the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). The National
District Attorneys Association helped review the data
collection instrument, provided their national directory of
district attorneys, and provided a medium for advertisement
via their bi-monthly publication, The Prosecutor. The
Urban Institute conducted the collection through a mailed
questionnaire and a web automated instrument. The NCSP07 form is available on the BJS website at www.bjs.gov.
Response rates. The NCSP-07 had an overall response
rate of 95.6% from the 2,330 prosecutors’ offices across the
nation. After the initial mailings, BJS followed up to obtain a
returned survey from each prosecutors’ office. The follow-up
process involved phone calls, email, fax communications,
a second mailing of questionnaires, and follow-up letters.
Completed surveys were received from 1,303 (56%)
prosecutors’ offices. Follow-up telephone calls, emails, and
faxes resulted in an additional 924 (40%) offices providing
a sufficient partially completed form, to make a final total
of 2,227 responses from the eligible 2,330. A total of 4.4%
(103) of the offices either did not respond (47) or directly
refused participation (56). Among the 103 court prosecutors’
offices that did not respond, 84% were in districts that served
populations of less than 250,000.
Calculated variables. Several variables were calculated
using reported and imputed data collected from the survey
instrument.

ƒƒ
Full-time equivalent (FTE) is a computed statistic
calculated by dividing the total number of hours parttime employees worked by the standard number of hours
for a full-time employee (40 hours per week), and then
adding the resulting quotient to the number of fulltime employees. (See U.S. Census Bureau Government
Employment, 1997, at http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/
meta/long_58632.htm.)
ƒƒ
Attorneys carrying a caseload (supervisory attorneys,
assistant prosecutors, and chief prosecutors) were included
as FTE prosecuting attorneys. Managing attorneys who did
not prosecute cases were excluded.
ƒƒ
Cases closed per prosecuting attorney was calculated for
each office by dividing the number of felony cases closed
by the office in 2007 by the number of FTE prosecuting
attorneys on staff in 2007.
ƒƒ
The budgeted cost per felony case closed was calculated for
each office by dividing the total office budget in 2007 by
the number of felony cases closed.
ƒƒ
The proportion of felony cases closed by jury verdict was
calculated for each office by dividing the number of felony
cases closed by jury verdict by the number of felony cases
closed in 2007.
Data Imputations
BJS used a combination of hot and cold deck approaches
to impute values for nine critical variables. These variables
included the number of chief prosecutors, number of
full-time assistant prosecutors, number of full-time staff,
number of part-time staff, annual salary of chief prosecutor,
total office operating budget, number of felony cases closed,
number of felony cases resulting in a conviction, and the

Table 11
Standard errors of critical variables, by data source, 2007
Imputed
Critical variable
Chief prosecutor
Full-time assistant prosecutors
Full-time staff
Part-time staff
Felony cases closed
Felony cases resulting in a conviction
Felony cases tried before a jury
Annual salary of chief prosecutor
Total office operating budget

Number
Mean
132
0.80
129
11.82
142
29.69
238
1.67
543
1,074.36
576
863.17
535
27.65
313
$101,273
378
$1,553,999

Reported data were*—
Provided by respondent
Standard
Standard
error of mean Number
Mean
error of mean
0.04
2,198
0.85
0.01
2.57
2,201
10.29
0.77
5.42
2,188
32.24
2.09
0.18
2,092
2.42
0.17
104.92
1,785
1301.63
89.36
71.25
1,752
958.64
67.46
2.70
1,794
32.60
2.76
$2,317
1,968
$97,507
$865
$223,372
1,952 $2,674,437
$248,044

All reported data
Standard
Number
Mean
error of mean
2,330
0.85
0.01
2,330
10.38
0.74
2,330
32.09
1.99
2,330
2.35
0.15
2,328
1248.62
72.77
2,328
935.02
53.75
2,329
31.46
2.21
2,281
$98,024
$811
2,330 $2,492,667 $211,098

Note: Excludes data for which no suitable donor for imputation was available.
*A suitable donor for imputation purposes was not identified for all cases, and these data remained missing.

10	

Prosecutors in State Courts, 2007 - Statistical Tables

number of felony cases tried before a jury. Data were missing
for approximately 6% of all offices for staffing critical
variables, 16% of offices were missing budget information,
and 23% of offices were missing caseload information
(table 9).

state and population size. Where there were no suitable
donors in the same state, a donor of similar population
size was used. The 2001 data were then adjusted using the
imputed adjustment ratio to create the imputed 2007 value
for the missing critical variable.

The 2007 data file was merged with the 2001 Census of
State Court Prosecutors data file to allow imputation from
previously collected valid data from the same prosecutorial
office.

Adjusting for Inflation
Financial data for fiscal years preceding 2007 were inflationadjusted using Gross Domestic Product (GDP) deflators
prepared by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The GDP
deflator chain-type price index, as appropriate for state and
local government salaries, was applied to 2001 prosecutors’
office salary data. The constant dollar salaries were then used
to impute 2007 salary data for offices that did not provide
salary data. (See table B-7, Chaintype price indexes for gross
domestic product, 1962-2010, Department of Commerce,
Bureau of Economic Analysis at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/
eop/tables11.html for further details.)

For each jurisdiction with valid 2001 and 2007 data, an
adjustment ratio was calculated as the ratio of the critical
variable’s 2001 value to its 2007 value. All ratios greater than
the 90th percentile were discarded for imputation purposes.
Where only 2001 data were available, a hot deck imputation
procedure was employed to impute the adjustment ratio
value from the jurisdiction’s nearest neighbor in terms of

December 2011	

11

U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
Bureau of Justice Statistics
Washington, DC 20531

ncj234211

PRESORTED STANDARD
POSTAGE & FEES PAID
DOJ/BJS
Permit No. G-91

Official Business
Penalty for Private Use $300

Office of Justice Programs • Innovation • Partnerships • Safer Neighborhoods • http://www.ojp.gov
The Bureau of Justice Statistics is the statistical agency of the U.S.
Department of Justice. James P. Lynch is the director.
These Statistical Tables were prepared and supporting text
written by Steven W. Perry and Duren Banks. Howard Snyder
verified the report.
Catherine Bird and Jill Thomas edited the report, Barbara Quinn
produced the report, and Jayne Robinson prepared the report
for final printing under the supervision of Doris J. James.
December 2011, NCJ 234211
The full text of each report is available in PDF and ASCII formats
on the BJS website at www.bjs.gov.  Tables are also available in
PDF and CSV formats. Related datasets are made available on the
National Archive of Criminal Justice Data website at http://www.
icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/NACJD/index.jsp.

 

 

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