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

Bureau of Justice Statistics

Statistical Tables
December 2009, NCJ 226846

National Judicial Reporting Program

Felony Sentences in State Courts, 2006 –
Statistical Tables
Sean Rosenmerkel, Matthew Durose
and Donald Farole, Jr., Ph.D.
BJS Statisticians
The National Judicial Reporting Program
(NJRP) compiles detailed information on the
sentences that felons receive in state courts
nationwide and on characteristics of the felons.
The survey excludes federal courts and state or
local courts that do not adjudicate adult felony
cases. NJRP surveys have been conducted every
2 years since 1986. This publication presents
findings from the 2006 survey.
The 2006 NJRP was based on a sample of state
courts in 300 counties selected to be nationally
representative. The survey included offenses that
state penal codes defined as felonies. Felonies are
widely defined as crimes with the potential of
being punished by more than 1 year in prison.
In 2006, state courts sentenced an estimated
1,132,290 persons for a felony conviction. That
total represents a 37% increase from the number
of felony offenders sentenced in 1990. The number of sentenced felons in 2006 per 100,000 adult
residents (18 or older) in the United States was
503. The corresponding rate in 1990 was 447.

Number and rate of persons sentenced for
a felony in state courts

1990
1994
1998
2002
2006

Estimated number
829,340
872,220
927,720
1,051,000
1,132,290

Rate per 100,000 residents age 18 or older
447
448
454
489
503

Note: See Methodology for source of resident population
estimates.

During this 16-year period, state courts experienced a rise in the average age of persons sentenced for a felony, a trend that is reflected in the
overall U.S. population. In 1990, persons age 30
or older accounted for 74% of U.S. adult residents and 42% of felony offenders in state courts
(not in table). By comparison, persons age 30 or
older comprised 78% of the adult U.S. population in 2006 and 53% of felons sentenced in state
courts that year. The average age of sentenced
felons rose from 29 years in 1990 to 33 years in
2006.
Supplemental statistical tables providing
confidence intervals and case totals for
estimates will be forthcoming.

Highlights
• In 2006 an estimated 69% of all persons convicted of a felony in state courts were sentenced to a period of confinement–41% to
state prison and 28% to local jails.

• Men (83%) accounted for a larger percentage
of persons convicted of a felony, compared to
their percentage (49%) of the adult population
(not shown in table).

• State prison sentences averaged 4 years and
11 months in 2006.

• Most (94%) felony offenders sentenced in 2006
pleaded guilty.

This publication is one in a series. For a list of all publications in this series go to http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbse&sid=28

Section 1. Felony Sentences in State Court
• State courts sentenced an estimated 1,132,290
persons for a felony in 2006, including 206,140
(or 18% of all felony convictions) for a violent
felony (table 1.1). A drug crime was the most
serious conviction offense for about a third of
felons sentenced in state courts that year.
• In 2006 an estimated 69% of all persons convicted of a felony in state courts were sentenced
to a period of confinement—41% to state
prison and 28% to local jails (table 1.2). Jail
sentences are usually a year or less in a county
or city facility, while prison sentences are usually more than a year and are served in a state
facility.
• Among persons sentenced for a felony in state
courts nationwide in 2006, an estimated 27%
received a probation sentence with no jail or
prison time. Four percent of felons were not
sentenced to any incarceration or probation,
but received a sentence that included fines, restitution, treatment, community service, or
some other penalty (for example, house arrest
or periodic drug testing).
• State prison sentences averaged 4 years and
11 months in 2006 (table 1.3). Persons convicted of a violent felony received the longest
prison sentences in 2006, compared to property, drug, weapon, and other felonies.
• Felony sentences to jail averaged 6 months
(table 1.3). Among felons who were sentenced
in state courts to probation and no incarcera-

tion, the average probation sentence was
3 years and 2 months.
• Life sentences accounted for less than 1%
(0.3%) of the 1.1 million felony sentences in
state courts during 2006 (table 1.4). However,
among the estimated 8,670 persons sentenced
for murder or nonnegligent manslaughter that
year, 23% received life in prison.
• Among the estimated 460,000 persons sentenced to prison via state courts, 0.8% received
life sentences (table 1.4).
• In 2006 an estimated 38% of persons sentenced
for a felony in state courts were ordered to pay
a fine as part of their sentence (table 1.5).
Approximately 1 in 4 property offenders was
ordered to make restitution and 23% of offenders convicted of drug possession were sentenced to treatment. Approximately 1 in 5 rape
offenders was sentenced to treatment.
• State courts accounted for the vast majority of
all felony sentences in the United States during
2006. According to the BJS Federal Justice Statistics Program, federal courts sentenced about
73,000 persons for a felony in 2006, which represented about 6% of the combined state and
federal total (table 1.6).
• The average felony sentence to incarceration
(prison or jail) in state courts was about 3 years
in 2006, compared to almost 5 years and
6 months in federal courts (table 1.6). Federal
felony drug offenders received incarceration
terms (7 years and 3 months) that were more
than twice the length of incarceration terms of
state felony drug offenders (2 years and 7
months).

Statistical Tables - Sentences
1.1. Estimated number of felony convictions in state courts, 2006
1.2. Types of felony sentences imposed in state courts, by offense, 2006
1.2.1 Estimated number of felony convictions in state courts, by offense and type of sentence, 2006
1.3. Mean and median felony sentence lengths in state courts, by offense and type of sentence, 2006
1.4. Estimated percent of felons sentenced to life in state prison, by offense, 2006
1.5. Felons sentenced to an additional penalty in state courts, by offense, 2006
1.6. Comparison of felony convictions in state and federal courts, 2006

Table 1.1. Estimated number of felony convictions in state courts,
2006
Most serious conviction offense
All offenses

Number

Percent

1,132,290

100 %

Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
Murder
a
Nonnegligent manslaughter
Sexual assault
Rape
Other sexual assaultb
Robbery
Armed
Unarmed
Unspecified
Aggravated assault
c
Other violent

206,140
8,670
6,240
2,420
33,200
14,720
18,480
41,740
9,660
8,990
23,090
100,560
21,980

18.2 %
0.8
0.6
0.2
2.9
1.3
1.6
3.7
0.9
0.8
2.0
8.9
1.9

Property offenses
Burglary
Residential
Nonresidential
Unspecified
Larcenyd
Motor vehicle theft
Other theft
Fraud/Forgery
e
Fraud
Forgery

321,570
99,910
23,870
18,230
57,810
125,390
18,660
106,740
96,260
49,250
47,010

28.4 %
8.8
2.1
1.6
5.1
11.1
1.6
9.4
8.5
4.3
4.2

Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking
Marijuana
Other
Unspecified

377,860
165,360
212,490
25,170
75,170
112,150

33.4 %
14.6
18.8
2.2
6.6
9.9

38,010

3.4 %

Weapon offenses
f

Other specified offenses
188,730
16.7 %
Note: Detail may not sum to total because of rounding. Numbers are rounded
to the nearest 10 in this and subsequent tables.
a

BJS classified a small number of cases as nonnegligent manslaughter when it
was unclear if the conviction offense was murder or nonnegligent
manslaughter.
b

Includes offenses such as forcible acts with an adult or minor not involving
intercourse and nonforcible acts with a minor (statutory rape or incest with a
minor) or with someone unable to give legal consent.
c
Includes offenses such as negligent manslaughter and kidnapping.
d

When vehicle theft could not be distinguished from other theft, the case was
coded as "other theft," resulting in a conservative estimate of vehicle thefts.
e
Includes embezzlement.
f

Comprises nonviolent offenses such as vandalism and receiving stolen
property.

Table 1.2. Types of felony sentences imposed in state courts, by offense, 2006

Most serious conviction offense
All offenses

Total

Total

Percent of felons sentenced to—
Incarceration
Nonincarceration
Jail
Total
Probation
Prison

Other

100 %

69

41

28

31

27

4

Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
Sexual assault
Rape
Other sexual assaulta
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Other violentb

100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100

%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

77
95
81
86
77
85
72
70

54
93
64
72
58
71
43
39

23
2
18
15
20
14
30
30

23
5
19
14
23
15
28
30

20
3
16
10
20
13
25
26

3
2
3
4
2
2
3
4

Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
Motor vehicle theft
Fraud/Forgeryc

100
100
100
100
100

%
%
%
%
%

67
73
69
83
59

38
49
34
42
32

29
24
34
41
27

33
27
31
17
41

29
24
28
15
35

4
3
3
2
6

Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking

100 %
100 %
100 %

65
63
67

38
33
41

28
31
26

35
37
33

30
33
29

4
4
4

100 %

73

45

28

27

25

2

Weapon offenses
d

100 %
70
36
34
30
27
3
Other specified offenses
Note: For persons receiving a combination of sentences, the sentence designation came from the most severe penalty imposed , with 
prison being the most severe, followed by jail, probation, and then other sentences, such as a fine, community service, or house
arrest. Prison includes death sentences. In this table "probation" is defined as straight probation. Detail may not sum to total
because of rounding. Data on sentence type were reported for 98% of the estimated total of 1,132,290 convicted felons. Percentages
are based on reported data.
a
Includes offenses such as statutory rape and incest with a minor.
b
Includes offenses such as negligent manslaughter and kidnapping.
c
Includes embezzlement.
d
Comprises nonviolent offenses such as vandalism and receiving stolen property.

Table 1.2.1. Estimated number of felony convictions in state courts, by offense and type of sentence, 2006

Most serious conviction offense
All offenses
Violent offenses

Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
Sexual assault
Rape
a
Other sexual assault
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Other violentb
Property offenses

Burglary
Larceny
Motor vehicle theft
Fraud/Forgeryc
Drug offenses

Possession
Trafficking
Weapon offenses
Other specified offensesd

Total
1,132,290
206,140
8,670
33,200
14,720
18,750
41,740
100,560
21,980
321,570
99,910
125,390
18,660
96,260
377,860
165,360
212,490
38,010
188,730

Estimated number of felons sentenced to—
Incarceration
Nonincarceration
Jail
Other
Prison
Probation
460,600
321,450
309,730
40,510
110,730
48,190
41,580
5,640
8,080
160
240
180
21,210
5,810
5,230
940
10,540
2,180
1,480
530
10,840
3,680
3,810
420
29,670
5,950
5,460
660
43,100
29,630
24,880
2,960
8,660
6,640
5,770
900
122,880
93,220
92,820
12,650
48,960
24,080
23,880
2,990
42,900
43,200
35,240
4,050
7,810
7,650
2,800
400
31,020
25,930
33,700
5,610
141,780
105,500
114,690
15,890
53,910
50,700
54,160
6,580
87,870
54,790
60,520
9,310
17,030
10,660
9,530
790
68,180
63,890
51,120
5,530

Note: For persons receiving a combination of sentences, the sentence designation came from the most severe penalty imposed,
with prison being the most severe, followed by jail, probation, and then other sentences, such as a fine, community service, or
house arrest. Prison includes death sentences. In this table "probation" is defined as straight probation. Detail may not sum to
total because of rounding. Data on sentence type were reported for 98% of the estimated total of 1,132,290 convicted felons.
About 2% of felony convictions were missing information on sentence type. Those cases were distributed proportionately among
prison, jail, probation, and other sentences, based on the distribution of known cases.
a
Includes offenses such as statutory rape and incest with a minor.
b
Includes offenses such as negligent manslaughter and kidnapping.
c
Includes embezzlement.
d
Comprises nonviolent offenses such as vandalism and receiving stolen property.

Table 1.3. Mean and median felony sentence lengths in state courts, by offense and type of sentence,
2006

Most serious conviction offense

Maximum sentence length (in months) for felons sentenced to—
Incarceration
Total
Prison
Jail
Probation

Mean
All offenses

38 mo.

59 mo.

6 mo.

38 mo.

71 mo.
244
106
138
78
87
41
38
30 mo.
41
22
19
28

96 mo.
250
129
162
98
101
62
59
47 mo.
57
38
31
45

7 mo.
10
8
8
8
10
6
7
6 mo.
7
6
6
5

44 mo.
71
58
60
57
51
40
42
38 mo.
42
37
35
37

31 mo.
23
38
32 mo.
24 mo.

50 mo.
38
57
48 mo.
41 mo.

5 mo.
5
6
6 mo.
5 mo.

37 mo.
36
38
37 mo.
36 mo.

17 mo.

36 mo.

5 mo.

36 mo.

36 mo.
264
60
96
44
60
24
18

60 mo.
267
84
120
60
72
42
36

6 mo.
12
6
6
6
9
6
6

36 mo.
60
48
36
48
60
36
36

Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
Motor vehicle theft
Fraud/Forgeryc

15 mo.
24
12
12
12

32 mo.
36
24
24
29

6 mo.
6
6
6
4

36 mo.
36
36
36
36

Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking

14 mo.
12
21

36 mo.
24
36

4 mo.
4
5

36 mo.
36
36

23 mo.

36 mo.

6 mo.

36 mo.

Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
Sexual assault
Rape
Other sexual assaulta
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Other violentb
Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
Motor vehicle theft
Fraud/Forgeryc
Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking
Weapon offenses
Other specified offensesd
Median
All offenses
Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
Sexual assault
Rape
Other sexual assaulta
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Other violentb

Weapon offenses
d

Other specified offenses
12 mo.
26 mo.
4 mo.
24 mo.
Note: For persons receiving a combination of sentences, the sentence designation came from the most
severe penalty imposed, with prison being the most severe, followed by jail, then probation. In this table
"probation" is defined as straight probation. Means exclude sentences to death or life in prison or on
probation. Data on sentence length were reported for 95% of incarceration sentences and 93% of probation
sentences.
a
Includes offenses such as statutory rape and incest with a minor.
b
Includes offenses such as negligent manslaughter and kidnapping.
c
Includes embezzlement.
d
Comprises nonviolent offenses such as vandalism and receiving stolen property.

Table 1.4. Estimated percent of felons sentenced to life in state prison, by offense, 2006
Most serious conviction offense

All sentencesa

All prison sentences

Total estimated number
All offenses

1,132,290
0.3 %

460,600
0.8 %

1.7 %
23.1
2.0
3.8
0.5
1.0
0.3
0.2

3.1 %
25.0
3.0
5.3
0.8
1.5
0.6
0.4

0.0 %

0.1 %

Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
Sexual assault
Rape
Other sexual assaultb
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Other violentc
Non-violent offenses d

Note: Data on sentence length were reported for 95% of incarceration sentences. Percentages
based on the maximum sentence imposed.
a
Includes sentences to probation and jail as well as prison.
b
Includes offenses such as statutory rape and incest with a minor.
c
Includes offenses such as negligent manslaughter and kidnapping.
d
Includes offenses such as burglary, larceny, fraud, drug possession, drug trafficking,
and weapon offenses.

Table 1.5. Felons sentenced to an additional penalty in state courts, by offense, 2006

Most serious conviction offense
All offenses

Fine

Percent of felons with an additional penalty of—
a
Restitution
Treatment Community service

Other

38 %

18 %

11 %

11 %

2%

Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
Sexual assault
Rape
b
Other sexual assault
Robbery
Aggravated assault
c
Other violent

36 %
28
37
38
36
26
40
36

18 %
13
18
24
14
18
18
17

11 %
8
15
21
11
10
10
13

12 %
7
13
19
9
9
12
15

2%
1
2
2
3
1
1
3

Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
Motor vehicle theft
d
Fraud/Forgery

37 %
34
35
34
42

27 %
27
26
28
29

11 %
11
11
20
10

12 %
12
13
22
11

2%
2
3
3
3

Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking

41 %
36
45

14 %
19
11

13 %
23
5

11 %
20
4

2%
2
2

27 %

8%

5%

7%

1%

40 %

13 %

9%

10 %

2%

Weapon offenses
e

Other specified offenses

Note: Where the data indicated affirmatively that a particular additional penalty was imposed, the case was coded
accordingly. Where the data did not indicate affirmatively or negatively, the case was treated as not having an
additional penalty. These procedures provide a conservative estimate of the prevalence of additional penalties. A felon
receiving more than one kind of additional penalty appears under more than one table heading.
a
Includes any type of counseling, rehabilitation, treatment, or mental hospital confinement.
b
Includes offenses such as statutory rape and incest with a minor.
c
Includes offenses such as negligent manslaughter and kidnapping.
d
Includes embezzlement.
e
Comprises nonviolent offenses such as vandalism and receiving stolen property.

Table 1.6. Comparison of felony convictions in state and federal courts, 2006

Most serious conviction offense
All offenses

Felony convictions
Total
State
Federal
1,205,273 1,132,290
72,983

Percent of felons sentenced to
Federal felony convictions prison or jail—
State
as percent of total
Federal
6.1 %
69 %
86 %

Mean maximum sentence length (in
months) for felons sentenced to prison
or jail—
State
Federal
38 mo.
65 mo.

Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
Sexual assault
Rape
Other sexual assaulta
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Other violentb

208,591
8,816
33,566
14,820
18,746
43,063
101,074
22,082

206,140
8,670
33,200
14,720
18,480
41,740
100,560
21,980

2,451
146
366
100
266
1,323
514
102

1.2 %
1.7
1.1
0.7
1.4
3.1
0.5
0.5

77 %
95
81
86
77
85
72
70

94 %
96
93
85
96
98
87
91

71 mo.
244
106
138
78
87
41
38

108 mo.
124
176
182
174
105
53
150

Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
Motor vehicle theft
Other theft
Fraud/Forgery
Fraudc
Forgery
Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking
Weapon offenses

332,492
99,959
126,357
18,692
107,675
106,166
58,074
48,092
405,221
165,534
239,677
46,841

321,570
99,910
125,390
18,660
106,740
96,260
49,250
47,010
377,860
165,360
212,490
38,010

10,922
49
967
32
935
9,906
8,824
1,082
27,361
174
27,187
8,831

3.3 %
0.0
0.8
0.2
0.9
9.3
15.2
2.2
6.8 %
0.1
11.3
18.9 %

67 %
73
69
83
66
59
56
63
65 %
63
67
73 %

59 %
82
48
84
46
60
60
63
93 %
60
93
93 %

30 mo.
41
22
19
23
28
25
31
31 mo.
23
38
32 mo.

29 mo.
31
20
43
18
29
30
24
87 mo.
48
87
88 mo.

Other specified offensesd

212,148

188,730

23,418

11.0 %

70 %

86 %

24 mo.

34 mo.

Note: Federal statistics were computed using the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts' criminal data from the BJS Federal Justice Statistics Program website (http://fjsrc.urban.org).
a
Includes offenses such as statutory rape and incest with a minor.
b
Includes offenses such as negligent manslaughter and kidnapping.
c
Includes embezzlement.
d
Comprises nonviolent offenses such as vandalism and receiving stolen property.

Section 2. Felony Offenses in State Court
• In 2006 an estimated 93% of convicted felons
were sentenced for a completed offense, and
7% were sentenced for an attempted offense
(table 2.1). By definition, murders were completed crimes.
• About 3 out of 4 felons sentenced in 2006
(77%) were sentenced for a single offense
(table 2.2). An estimated 15% were sentenced
for two felony offenses, and 7% were sentenced
for three or more felonies. The overall number
of conviction offenses totaled about 1.5 million
for which 1,132,290 felons were sentenced in
2006 (not in table).

• In 2006 the likelihood of receiving a state
prison sentence was 37% for persons convicted
of one felony, increasing to 51% for two felonies
or 63% for three or more felonies (table 2.3).
• The mean sentence to state prison in 2006
increased from 4 years and 2 months for those
convicted of one felony to 6 years and 6 months
for those convicted of two or more felonies
(table 2.4).

Statistical Tables - Offenses
2.1. Estimated percent of felons sentenced in state courts for a completed or attempted offense,
2006
2.2. Number of felony convictions for persons sentenced in state courts, by most serious offense,
2006
2.3. Convicted felons sentenced to prison in state courts, by number of convictions, 2006
2.4. Mean length of felony sentences imposed in state courts, by number of convictions and
offense, 2006

Table 2.1. Estimated percent of felons sentenced in state courts for a
completed or attempted offense, 2006

Most serious conviction offense
All offenses

Percent of felons sentenced for—
Completed Attempted
Total
offense
offense
100 %

93

7

Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughte
Sexual assault
Rape
Other sexual assaulta
Robbery
Aggravated assaultb
Other violentc
Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
Motor vehicle theft
Fraud/Forgeryd
Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking

100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100

%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

91
100
89
88
90
84
93
97
94
92
95
94
93
94
96
92

9
0
11
12
10
16
7
3
6
8
5
6
7
6
4
8

Weapon offenses

100 %

93

7

e

Other specified offenses
100 %
96
4
Note: Data on whether the offense was completed or attempted were reported
for 60% of convicted felons.
a
Includes offenses such as statutory rape and incest with a minor.
b
Includes attempted murder.
c
Includes offenses such as negligent manslaughter and kidnapping.
d
Includes embezzlement.
e
Comprises nonviolent offenses such as vandalism and receiving stolen property.

Table 2.2. Number of felony convictions for persons sentenced in state courts, by most
serious offense, 2006
Percent of felons sentenced for—
Most serious conviction offense
All offenses
Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
Sexual assaulta
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Other violentb
Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
Fraud/Forgeryc
Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking
Weapon offenses
Other specified offensesd

One felony
conviction

Total
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100

%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

77
71
60
65
66
73
83
72
62
84
67
80
88
73
78
90

Two felony Three or more
convictions felony convictions
15
19
22
20
21
18
13
18
23
12
20
14
10
18
17
8

7
11
18
15
13
9
4
10
15
4
13
6
2
9
5
2

Note: Data on number of conviction offenses were reported for 100% of convicted felons. The number
of convictions is based on current convictions only. Detail may not sum to total because of rounding.
a
Includes rape.
b
includes offenses such as negligent manslaughter and kidnapping.
c
Includes embezzelment.
d
Comprises nonviolent offenses such as vandalism and receiving stolen property.

Table 2.3. Convicted felons sentenced to prison in state courts, by number of convictions, 2006
Percent of felons sentenced to prison for—
Most serious conviction offense

One felony
conviction

Two felony
convictions

Three or more
felony convictions

All offenses
Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
Sexual assaulta
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Other violentb

37 %
48 %
93
58
65
37
35

51 %
63 %
90
70
79
52
57

63 %
78 %
96
83
86
68
63

Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
Fraud/Forgeryc

34 %
44
32
27

46 %
53
46
40

56 %
64
52
49

Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking

34 %
31
37

47 %
46
48

60 %
54
61

41 %

56 %

67 %

35 %

45 %

48 %

Weapon offenses
Other specified offenses

d

Note: Data on the number of conviction offenses and sentence type were reported for
98% of convicted felons. The number of convictions is based on current convictions only.
a
Includes rape.
b
Includes offenses such as negligent manslaughter and kidnapping.
c
Includes embezzlement.
d
Comprises nonviolent offenses such as vandalism and receiving stolen property.

Table 2.4. Mean length of felony sentences imposed in state courts, by number of convictions and
offense, 2006

Most serious conviction offense

Mean maximum sentence length (in months) for felons sentenced to—
Incarceration
Total
Prison
Jail
Probation

One conviction offense
All offenses

31 mo.

50 mo.

6 mo.

37 mo.

55 mo.
225
76
69
33
31

79 mo.
229
96
83
54
50

7 mo.
10
8
10
6
7

43 mo.
62
55
50
39
41

Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
Fraud/Forgeryc

25 mo.
36
20
22

42 mo.
53
35
39

6 mo.
7
6
5

36 mo.
40
36
35

Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking

26 mo.
20
32

44 mo.
36
51

5 mo.
5
6

36 mo.
36
37

28 mo.

43 mo.

6 mo.

36 mo.

23 mo.

40 mo.

5 mo.

35 mo.

59 mo.

78 mo.

6 mo.

43 mo.

104 mo.
274
156
119
58
67

125 mo.
283
175
128
77
85

7 mo.
10
7
10
7
7

49 mo.
95
67
58
42
49

Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
Fraud/Forgeryc

41 mo.
48
32
37

55 mo.
61
47
52

6 mo.
7
6
6

43 mo.
45
42
41

Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking

49 mo.
37
53

65 mo.
51
70

6 mo.
5
6

40 mo.
38
41

46 mo.

60 mo.

7 mo.

41 mo.

Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
Sexual assault a
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Other violentb

Weapon offenses
d

Other specified offenses

Two or more conviction offenses
All offenses
Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
Sexual assault a
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Other violentb

Weapon offenses
d

Other specified offenses
33 mo.
49 mo.
6 mo.
42 mo.
Note: For persons receiving a combination of sentences, the sentence designation came from the most severe
penalty imposed, with prison being the most severe, followed by jail, then probation. In this table "probation" is
defined as straight probation. Means exclude sentences to death or life in prison or on probation. The number of
convictions is based on current convictions only.
a
Includes rape.
b
Includes offenses such as negligent manslaughter and kidnapping.
c
Includes embezzlement.
d
Comprises nonviolent offenses such as vandalism and receiving stolen property.

Section 3. Felony Offenders in State Court
• In 2006 persons in their twenties accounted for
40% of convicted felons, which was more than
double their percentage of the U.S. adult population (18%) (table 3.1). The average age of persons sentenced for a felony in state courts in
2006 was 33 years.
• Men (83%) accounted for a larger percentage of
persons convicted of a felony (table 3.2), compared to their percentage (49%) of the adult
population (not shown in table). Whites comprised 82% of adults in the U.S. population,
compared to 60% of persons convicted of a felony. Blacks comprised 12% of the adult population, but 38% of convicted felons.
• Females comprised a relatively large proportion of persons sentenced for a property crime
in 2006—about 1 in 4—compared to the proportion of female felons sentenced for other
crimes (table 3.2). Approximately 1 in 5 drug
offenders and 1 in 10 violent offenders was
female.

• In 2006 similar proportions of whites (66%)
and blacks (72%) convicted of a felony in state
courts were sentenced to a period of confinement (table 3.4).
• In 2006 men sentenced to state prison nationwide had an average sentence length of 5 years
and 1 month, while women had an average
prison sentence of 3 years and 9 months
(table 3.5).
• Among felony offenders sentenced to state
prison during 2006, the average sentence
received by blacks (5 years and 3 months) was
not significantly different from the average sentence received by whites (5 years) (table 3.6).
• Among females sentenced in state courts to
straight probation with no jail or prison time to
serve, the average probation term received by
white and black offenders in 2006 was about
3 years (table 3.7).

• In 2006 an estimated 72% of males convicted of
a felony in state courts were sentenced to either
prison or jail, compared to 60% of females
(table 3.3).

Statistical Tables - Offenders
3.1. Age of persons convicted of felonies in state courts, by offense, 2006
3.2. Gender and race of persons convicted of felonies in state courts, by offense, 2006
3.3. Types of felony sentences imposed in state courts, by offense and gender of felons, 2006
3.4. Types of felony sentences imposed in state courts, by offense and race of felons, 2006
3.5. Mean length of felony sentences imposed in state courts, by offense and gender of felons, 2006
3.6. Mean length of felony sentences imposed in state courts, by offense and race of felons, 2006
3.7. Mean length of felony sentences imposed in state courts, by offense and combined categories of
race and gender, 2006

Table 3.1. Age of persons convicted of felonies in state courts, by offense, 2006

Most serious conviction offense

Mean

Median

Total

Under 20

Age at sentencing
20-29
30-39

50-59

60+

All offenses
Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
Sexual assault
Rape
a
Other sexual assault
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Other violentb
Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
Motor vehicle theft
c
Fraud/Forgery

33 yr.
31 yr.
31
34
34
35
27
32
32
32 yr.
29
33
29
34

31 yr.
29 yr.
28
32
32
33
24
30
30
30 yr.
26
32
26
32

100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100

%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

7
11
7
8
10
7
21
9
7
9
16
7
13
3

40
42
48
35
34
36
48
41
41
40
44
37
49
39

26
24
23
24
27
22
18
26
26
26
21
26
24
31

40-49
20
16
14
19
18
20
11
18
19
19
15
21
11
21

6
5
6
8
7
9
2
6
5
5
4
7
3
6

1
2
2
5
4
6
-1
2
1
-1
-1

Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking

33 yr.
34
33

31 yr.
32
30

100 %
100 %
100 %

4
4
5

41
37
43

26
27
26

21
24
19

7
7
7

1
1
1

Weapon offenses

30 yr.

27 yr.

100 %

10

48

22

13

5

1

d
35 yr.
33 yr.
100 %
5
Other specified offenses
Note: Data on age were reported for 87% of convicted felons.
--Less than 0.5%.
a
Includes offenses such as statutory rape and incest with a minor.
b
Includes offenses such as negligent manslaughter and kidnapping.
c
Includes embezzlement.
d
Comprises nonviolent offenses such as vandalism and receiving stolen property.

34

27

23

8

2

Table 3.2. Gender and race of persons convicted of felonies in state courts, by offense, 2006

Total

Percent of convicted felons
Gender
Male
Female
White

100 %

83

17

60

38

2

Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
Sexual assault
Rape
Other sexual assaultb
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Other violentc

100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100

%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

89
90
97
96
97
91
86
88

11
10
3
4
3
9
14
12

58
46
74
70
77
42
59
69

39
51
24
28
21
57
39
28

3
3
2
2
2
1
3
3

Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
Motor vehicle theft
Fraud/Forgeryd
Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking
Weapon offenses

100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100

%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

75
90
75
86
59
82
80
83
95

25
10
25
14
41
18
20
17
5

65
66
64
70
66
55
62
50
43

33
32
34
26
32
44
36
49
55

2
2
2
5
2
1
2
1
2

Other specified offensese

100 %

87

13

67

30

3

Most serious conviction offense
All offenses

Race
Black

Othera

Note: Data on gender were reported for 86% of convicted felons and data on race for 74%. Detail may not sum to total
because of rounding. Racial categories include persons of Latino or Hispanic origin.
a
Includes American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asians, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders.
b
Includes offenses such as statutory rape and incest with a minor.
c
Includes offenses such as negligent manslaughter and kidnapping.
d
Includes embezzlement.
e
Comprises nonviolent offenses such as vandalism and receiving stolen property.

Table 3.3. Types of felony sentences imposed in state courts, by offense and gender of felons, 2006

Most serious conviction offense

Total

Percent of felons sentenced to—
Incarceration
Nonincarceration
Total
Prison Jail
Total Probation Other

Male
All offenses

100 %

72

43

29

28

24

4

Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
Sexual assault a
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Other violentb
Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
Fraud/Forgeryc
Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking

100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100

%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

80
96
82
86
76
73
72
75
73
64
68
67
69

56
94
64
71
45
41
42
50
38
35
39
34
43

24
1
18
15
30
32
30
25
35
29
29
34
26

20
4
18
14
24
27
28
25
27
36
32
33
31

18
2
14
12
22
23
25
21
24
30
27
28
27

3
2
3
2
3
4
4
3
3
6
4
5
4

Weapon offenses
Other specified offensesd

100 %
100 %

77
72

47
37

31
35

23
28

20
25

2
3

All offenses
Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
Sexual assault a
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Other violentb
Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
Fraud/Forgeryc

100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100

%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

60
64
88
69
72
61
59
59
72
60
56

28
35
84
48
52
27
30
27
39
24
26

32
29
4
21
20
34
29
32
32
36
30

40
36
12
31
28
39
41
41
28
40
44

35
31
10
26
24
33
37
36
26
36
38

5
5
1
6
4
6
5
5
2
5
6

Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking
Weapon offenses

100
100
100
100

%
%
%
%

58
60
57
68

27
24
29
34

31
35
28
34

42
40
43
32

36
35
38
28

5
5
5
5

Female

Other specified offensesd
100 %
63
27
37
37
32
5
Note: For persons receiving a combination of sentences, the sentence designation came from the most
severe penalty imposed, with prison being the most severe, followed by jail, probation, and then other
sentences, such as a fine, community service, or house arrest. Prison includes death sentences. In this table
"probation" is defined as straight probation. Detail may not sum to total because of rounding.
a
Includes rape.
b
Includes offenses such as negligent manslaughter and kidnapping.
c
Includes embezzlement.
d
Comprises nonviolent offenses such as vandalism and receiving stolen property.

Table 3.4. Types of felony sentences imposed in state courts, by offense and race of felons, 2006

Most serious conviction offense

Total

Percent of felons sentenced to—
Incarceration
Nonincarceration
Total
Prison
Jail
Total
Probation

Other

White
All offenses

100 %

66

37

29

34

29

4

Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
a
Sexual assault
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Other violentb

100
100
100
100
100
100

%
%
%
%
%
%

74
93
81
83
69
68

52
92
64
70
40
40

23
2
16
14
29
28

26
7
19
17
31
32

22
4
16
15
27
27

3
3
4
2
3
4

Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
Fraud/Forgeryc

100
100
100
100

%
%
%
%

65
71
66
59

36
46
32
31

29
25
34
27

35
29
34
41

30
25
30
35

5
4
4
6

Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking

100 %
100 %
100 %

61
63
59

31
28
33

30
35
26

39
37
41

34
33
35

5
4
6

Weapon offenses

100 %

73

45

28

27

23

4

Other specified offensesd

100 %

69

34

35

31

27

4

100 %

72

45

27

28

25

4

Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
a
Sexual assault
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Other violentb

100
100
100
100
100
100

%
%
%
%
%
%

78
95
80
86
72
68

58
93
65
71
46
37

20
2
15
14
26
31

22
5
20
14
28
32

19
3
16
12
23
28

3
2
4
2
4
4

Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
Fraud/Forgeryc
Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking

100
100
100
100
100
100
100

%
%
%
%
%
%
%

69
78
69
60
70
71
70

41
57
36
30
43
38
46

28
20
33
30
27
33
25

31
22
31
40
30
29
30

27
20
28
35
25
24
26

4
3
3
5
4
5
4

Weapon offenses

100 %

73

45

28

27

25

2

Other specified offensesd

100 %

70

38

31

30

27

3

Black
All offenses

Note: For persons receiving a combination of sentences, the sentence designation came from the most severe penalty
imposed—prison being the most severe, followed by jail, probation, and then other sentences, such as a fine, community
service, or house arrest. Prison includes death sentences. In this table "probation" is defined as straight probation. Detail may
not sum to total because of rounding. Racial categories include persons of Latino or Hispanic origin.
a
Includes rape.
b
Includes offenses such as negligent manslaughter and kidnapping.
c
Includes embezzlement.
d
Comprises nonviolent offenses such as vandalism and receiving stolen property.

Table 3.5. Mean length of felony sentences imposed in state courts, by offense and gender of felons,
2006

Most serious conviction offense

Mean maximum sentence length for felons sentenced to—
Incarceration
Total
Prison
Jail
Probation

Male
All offenses

40 mo.

61 mo.

6 mo.

37 mo.

74 mo.
252
109
90
43
39

100 mo.
256
133
105
64
59

7 mo.
11
9
10
7
7

45 mo.
78
59
50
40
44

Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
Fraud/Forgeryc

31 mo.
42
22
26

48 mo.
58
37
42

6 mo.
7
6
6

37 mo.
39
35
35

Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking
Weapon offenses

32 mo.
22
39
32 mo.

51 mo.
37
58
48 mo.

5 mo.
5
6
7 mo.

36 mo.
34
38
34 mo.

Other specified offensesd

25 mo.

42 mo.

5 mo.

34 mo.

25 mo.
45 mo.
200
63
55
28
40
22 mo.
28
17
23

45 mo.
75 mo.
212
83
71
54
68
40 mo.
46
34
41

5 mo.
6 mo.
10
6
10
6
6
5 mo.
6
5
5

36 mo.
40 mo.
59
68
50
35
40
37 mo.
42
36
36

Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking

22 mo.
17
27

41 mo.
34
46

5 mo.
4
5

35 mo.
33
36

Weapon offenses

24 mo.

41 mo.

5 mo.

29 mo.

Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
Sexual assault a
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Other violentb

Female
All offenses
Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
Sexual assault a
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Other violentb
Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
Fraud/Forgeryc

Other specified offensesd
20 mo.
41 mo.
5 mo.
30 mo.
Note: For persons receiving a combination of sentences, the sentence designation came from the most
severe penalty imposed, with prison being the most severe, followed by jail, then probation. In this table
"probation" is defined as straight probation. Means exclude sentences to death or life in prison or on
probation.
a
Includes rape.
b
Includes offenses such as negligent manslaughter and kidnapping.
c
Includes embezzlement.
d
Comprises nonviolent offenses such as vandalism and receiving stolen property.

Table 3.6. Mean length of felony sentences imposed in state courts, by offense and race of
felons, 2006

Most serious conviction offense
White
All offenses

Mean maximum sentence length for felons sentenced to—
Incarceration
Total
Prison
Jail
Probation

37 mo.

60 mo.

6 mo.

37 mo.

73 mo.
259
114
86
41
44

99 mo.
264
135
100
63
65

7 mo.
13
8
10
6
7

44 mo.
76
59
50
39
41

Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
Fraud/Forgeryc

29 mo.
40
22
25

46 mo.
56
38
40

6 mo.
7
6
6

37 mo.
41
36
36

Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking

29 mo.
20
36

50 mo.
38
58

5 mo.
4
6

34 mo.
33
35

34 mo.

51 mo.

6 mo.

33 mo.

25 mo.

45 mo.

5 mo.

36 mo.

42 mo.

63 mo.

6 mo.

37 mo.

83 mo.
259
124
99
46
39

108 mo.
265
146
114
66
60

7 mo.
9
10
9
6
7

44 mo.
70
56
49
38
49

Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
Fraud/Forgeryc

32 mo.
48
22
26

49 mo.
62
35
44

6 mo.
7
6
5

36 mo.
37
35
35

Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking

34 mo.
23
39

51 mo.
38
56

6 mo.
5
6

38 mo.
35
39

34 mo.

49 mo.

7 mo.

34 mo.

Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
Sexual assault a
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Other violentb

Weapon offenses
d

Other specified offenses
Black
All offenses

Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
Sexual assault a
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Other violentb

Weapon offenses
d

Other specified offenses
24 mo.
39 mo.
5 mo.
28 mo.
Note: For persons receiving a combination of sentences, the sentence designation came from the most
severe penalty imposed, with prison being the most severe, followed by jail, then probation. In this table
"probation" is defined as straight probation. Means exclude sentences to death or life in prison or on
probation. Racial categories include persons of Latino or Hispanic origin.
a

Includes rape.
Includes offenses such as negligent manslaughter and kidnapping.
c
Includes embezzlement.
d
Comprises nonviolent offenses such as vandalism and receiving stolen property.
b

Table 3.7. Mean length of felony sentences imposed in state courts, by offense and
combined categories of race and gender, 2006

Most serious conviction offense
Sentenced to incarcerationa
All offenses

Mean maximum sentence length for persons who were—
White
Black
Male
Female
Male
Female

40 mo.

25 mo.

45 mo.

25 mo.

75 mo.
265
115
89
42
43

52 mo.
225
72
61
30
55

88 mo.
266
125
101
48
41

41 mo.
175
32
54
29
17

Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
Fraud/Forgeryd

31 mo.
41
24
27

22 mo.
29
17
22

35 mo.
50
23
27

23 mo.
34
19
23

Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking

31 mo.
21
39

22 mo.
17
26

36 mo.
25
40

22 mo.
15
27

Weapon offenses

34 mo.

24 mo.

34 mo.

24 mo.

Other offensese

26 mo.

22 mo.

25 mo.

20 mo.

62 mo.

46 mo.

65 mo.

45 mo.

100 mo.
268
136
102
63
63

82 mo.
238
90
75
55
80

111 mo.
271
147
116
68
62

70 mo.
191
59
72
54
34

Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
Fraud/Forgeryd

48 mo.
57
39
42

38 mo.
44
34
38

50 mo.
63
36
45

42 mo.
57
35
43

Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking

52 mo.
39
61

42 mo.
35
46

53 mo.
39
57

40 mo.
30
46

51 mo.

42 mo.

50 mo.

41 mo.

44 mo.

46 mo.

39 mo.

38 mo.

Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
Sexual assaultb
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Other violentc

Sentenced to prison
All offenses
Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
Sexual assaultb
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Other violentc

Weapon offenses
Other offenses

e

continued on next page

Table 3.7. Mean length of felony sentences imposed in state courts, by offense and
combined categories of race and gender, 2006 (cont.)

Most serious conviction offense

Mean sentence length for persons who were—
White
Black
Male
Female
Male
Female

Sentenced to jail
All offenses

6 mo.

5 mo.

6 mo.

5 mo.

7 mo.
17
8
10
7
7

6 mo.
8^
6
10
5
6

8 mo.
7
10
9
7
7

6 mo.
11 ^
8
9
6
7

Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
d
Fraud/Forgery

6 mo.
7
6
6

5 mo.
7
5
5

7 mo.
7
7
6

5 mo.
5
5
5

Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking

5 mo.
5
6

5 mo.
4
6

6 mo.
5
6

5 mo.
5
5

6 mo.

4 mo.

7 mo.

6 mo.

6 mo.

5 mo.

6 mo.

5 mo.

37 mo.

35 mo.

37 mo.

36 mo.

44 mo.
102
57
50
40
42

40 mo.
50
78
52
34
37

45 mo.
66
57
49
39
50

39 mo.
83 ^
37
47
36
44

Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
d
Fraud/Forgery

37 mo.
40
36
35

37 mo.
44
37
36

36 mo.
38
35
35

35 mo.
31
35
35

Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking

35 mo.
34
36

34 mo.
31
35

38 mo.
35
39

38 mo.
39
37

Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
Sexual assaultb
Robbery
Aggravated assault
c
Other violent

Weapon offenses
e

Other specified offenses
Sentenced to probation
All offenses

Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
b
Sexual assault
Robbery
Aggravated assault
c
Other violent

Weapon offenses
34 mo.
29 mo.
34 mo.
27 mo.
Other specified offensese
36 mo.
31 mo.
29 mo.
27 mo.
Note: For persons receiving a combination of sentences, the sentence designation came from the
most severe penalty imposed, with prison being the most severe, followed by jail, then probation. In
this table "probation" is defined as straight probation. Means exclude sentences to death or life in
prison or on probation. Racial categories include persons of Latino or Hispanic origin.
^Estimate is based on 10 or fewer sample cases.
a
Includes prison and jail sentences.
b
Includes rape.
c
Includes offenses such as negligent manslaughter and kidnapping.
d
Includes embezzlement.
e
Comprises nonviolent offenses such as vandalism and receiving stolen property.

Section 4. Felony Adjudication in State Court
• Most (94%) felony offenders sentenced in 2006
pleaded guilty (table 4.1). The rest were found
guilty by a jury (4%) or by a judge in a bench
trial (2%). Persons convicted of murder were
the least likely to have pleaded guilty (61%) and
the most likely to have been convicted in a
trial (39%).
• During 2006 an estimated 89% of persons who
were convicted of a violent felony either by a
jury or judge were sentenced to time in prison
or jail, compared to 76% of violent offenders
who pleaded guilty (table 4.2).
• Prison sentences imposed in state courts were
longer for felons convicted in a trial (8 years
and 4 months) than for felons who pleaded
guilty (3 years and 11 months) in 2006
(table 4.3).

• Among persons convicted of murder or nonnegligent manslaughter, sentences to life in
prison or death occurred more often in trial
convictions (47%) than in guilty pleas (13%) in
2006 (table 4.4).
• Among felons sentenced in state courts during
2006, an estimated 4% were sentenced within
1 month following their arrest, 14% were sentenced within 3 months of their arrest, 33%
were sentenced within 6 months of their arrest,
and 67% were sentenced within 12 months of
their arrest (table 4.5). The median time from
arrest to sentencing for all felony convictions
was 265 days. The median days from arrest to
sentencing was longest for murder (505 days)
and sexual assault (348 days) convictions.

Statistical Tables - Adjudication
4.1. Types of felony convictions in state courts, by offense, 2006
4.2. Types of felony sentences imposed in state courts, by offense and type of conviction, 2006
4.3. Mean length of felony sentences imposed in state courts, by offense and type of conviction,
2006
4.4. Types of sentences imposed on felons convicted of murder or nonnegligent manslaughter, by
type of conviction, 2006
4.5. Time between arrest and sentencing for persons convicted of a felony in state courts, by
offense, 2006

Table 4.1. Types of felony convictions in state courts, by offense, 2006

Most serious conviction offense
All offenses

Percent of felons convicted by—
Triala
Total
Jury
Bench
Total
100 %

Guilty Plea

6

4

2

94

Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
Sexual assault
Rape
Other sexual assaultb
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Other violentc

100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100

%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

10
39
12
16
9
11
8
7

8
36
10
13
8
9
5
5

2
2
2
3
2
2
3
2

90
61
88
84
91
89
92
93

Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
Motor vehicle theft
Fraud/Forgeryd

100
100
100
100
100

%
%
%
%
%

5
6
5
4
5

3
4
3
4
3

2
2
2
-2

95
94
95
96
95

Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking

100 %
100 %
100 %

4
2
6

3
1
3

2
1
2

96
98
94

Weapon offenses
Other specified offensese

100 %
100 %

7
3

5
3

2
1

93
97

Note: Data on type of conviction were reported for 56% of convicted felons. Detail may not
sum to the total because of rounding.
--Less than 0.5%.
a

About 5% of trial convictions were missing information on the type of trial (jury or bench). Those
cases were distributed proportionately between jury and bench convictions based on the
distribution of the known cases.
b
Includes offenses such as statutory rape and incest with a minor.
c
Includes offenses such as negligent manslaughter and kidnapping.
d
Includes embezzlement.
e
Comprises nonviolent offenses such as vandalism and receiving stolen property.

Table 4.2. Types of felony sentences imposed in state courts, by offense and type of conviction, 2006

Most serious conviction offense

Percent of felons sentenced to—
Incarceration
Nonincarceration
Total
Prison
Jail
Total
Probation Other

Total

Trial
100 %

81

62

19

19

14

5

Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
a
Sexual assault
Robbery
Aggravated assault
b
Other violent

All offenses

100
100
100
100
100
100

%
%
%
%
%
%

89
96
89
96
81
87

76
95
81
87
61
63

13
1
8
9
20
23

11
4
11
4
19
13

7
0
5
2
12
10

5
3
5
2
7
3

Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
c
Fraud/Forgery

100
100
100
100

%
%
%
%

78
86
73
72

55
69
45
49

22
17
28
23

22
14
27
28

17
10
21
22

5
4
6
6

Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking

100 %
100 %
100 %

73
81
71

55
46
57

18
35
14

27
19
29

20
15
21

7
3
8

100 %

88

67

21

12

9

4

100 %

85

54

31

15

11

4

All offenses
Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
a
Sexual assault
Robbery
Aggravated assault
b
Other violent

100
100
100
100
100
100
100

%
%
%
%
%
%
%

68
76
95
82
84
70
70

37
49
93
62
65
39
36

31
26
2
20
19
31
34

32
24
5
18
16
30
30

29
22
4
17
15
27
26

3
2
2
1
1
2
4

Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
c
Fraud/Forgery
Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking
Weapon offenses

100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100

%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

64
73
66
55
66
62
68
73

34
46
29
29
35
30
39
41

30
27
37
27
30
33
29
32

36
27
34
45
34
38
32
27

32
25
31
40
31
35
28
25

3
2
3
5
3
2
4
2

Weapon offenses
d

Other specified offenses
Guilty plea

Other specified offensesd
100 %
69
32
38
31
28
3
Note: For persons receiving a combination of sentences, the sentence designation came from the most severe penalty
imposed, with prison being the most severe, followed by jail, probation, and then other sentences, such as a fine,
community service, or house arrest. Prison includes death sentences. In this table "probation" is defined as straight
probation. Detail may not sum to total because of rounding.
a
Includes rape.
b
Includes offenses such as negligent manslaughter and kidnapping.
c
Includes embezzlement.
d
Comprises nonviolent offenses such as vandalism and receiving stolen property.

Table 4.3. Mean length of felony sentences imposed in state courts, by offense and type of
conviction, 2006

Most serious conviction offense

Mean maximum sentence length for felons sentenced to— 
Incarceration
Total
Prison
Jail
Probation

Trial
All offenses

78 mo.

100 mo.

6 mo.

39 mo.

127 mo.
267
158
146
75
63

149 mo.
275
172
161
98
83

6 mo.
9ˆ
6
7
6
7

40 mo.
42 ˆ
42
61
39
30

Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
c
Fraud/Forgery

50 mo.
68
34
42

68 mo.
83
51
59

6 mo.
6
6
6

41 mo.
46
43
36

Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking
Weapon offenses
d
Other specified offenses

63 mo.
36
70
56 mo.
38 mo.

81 mo.
59
85
71 mo.
54 mo.

6 mo.
4
7
8 mo.
6 mo.

38 mo.
21
40
46 mo.
28 mo.

29 mo.

47 mo.

6 mo.

37 mo.

53 mo.
192
80
64
33
31
24 mo.
32
18
22
26 mo.
19
30

73 mo.
195
96
76
51
48
38 mo.
45
33
35
42 mo.
34
46

7 mo.
7
9
10
6
7
6 mo.
7
6
5
5 mo.
5
6

44 mo.
80
67
54
39
36
36 mo.
40
34
35
36 mo.
34
38

Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
a
Sexual assault
Robbery
Aggravated assault
b
Other violent

Guilty plea
All offenses
Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
a
Sexual assault
Robbery
Aggravated assault
b
Other violent
Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
c
Fraud/Forgery
Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking

Weapon offenses
27 mo.
43 mo.
7 mo.
35 mo.
Other specified offensesd
19 mo.
34 mo.
5 mo.
34 mo.
Note: For persons receiving a combination of sentences, the sentence designation came from the most
severe penalty imposed, with prison being the most severe, followed by jail, then probation. In this table
"probation" is defined as straight probation. Means exclude sentences to death or life in prison or on
probation.
ˆEstimate is based on 10 or fewer sample cases.
a
Includes rape.
b
Includes offenses such as negligent manslaughter and kidnapping.
c
Includes embezzlement.
d
Comprises nonviolent offenses such as vandalism and receiving stolen property.

Table 4.4. Types of sentences imposed on felons convicted of murder or
nonnegligent manslaughter, by type of conviction, 2006
Type of conviction
Total
Trial
Jury
Bench

Total

Life

Death

Other*

100 %
100 %
100
100

23
41
41
22

2
6
7
0

75
53
52
78

Guilty plea
100 %
12
1
87
Note: Zero represents no cases in sample.
*Includes a probation or an incarceration sentence expressed in days,
months, or years.

Table 4.5. Time between arrest and sentencing for persons convicted of a felony in state courts, by offense, 2006

Most serious conviction offense
All offenses

Median time (in days)

Following arrest, cumulative percent sentenced within—
1 month
3 months
6 months
1 year

265

4%

14 %

33 %

67 %

Violent offenses
Murder/Nonnegligent manslaughter
Sexual assaulta
Robbery
Aggravated assault
Other violentb

295
505
348
282
279
244

2%
1
1
1
2
4

9%
3
5
7
10
14

26 %
8
19
25
29
35

62 %
31
54
65
65
72

Property offenses
Burglary
Larceny
Fraud/Forgeryc

237
234
220
261

3%
3
5
2

15 %
15
18
12

38 %
39
41
33

70 %
71
71
66

Drug offenses
Possession
Trafficking
Weapon offenses
Other specified offensesd

271
257
282
253
253

6%
9
3
4%
3%

15 %
20
12
15 %
14 %

32 %
35
30
34 %
34 %

66 %
68
64
69 %
69 %

Note: Data on time to dispose of felonies were reported for 33% of convicted felons.
a
Includes rape.
b
Includes offenses such as negligent manslaughter and kidnapping.
c
Includes embezzlement.
d
Comprises nonviolent offenses such as vandalism and receiving stolen property.

Methodology
Targeted population
Through a nationally representative sample of
state courts, the 2006 National Judicial Reporting Program (NJRP) compiled individual-level
data on felony sentences that occurred in calendar year 2006. Because the year of conviction
was not a defining characteristic, some cases in
the sample were of persons convicted before
2006 but not sentenced until 2006. If the same
person was sentenced for a felony more than
once during the reporting period, then each
event was counted separately.
The survey targeted and recorded initial sentences imposed during 2006. If a person received
prison but the judge suspended that sentence on
the same day, the sentence was coded as probation because that was the actual sentence. Any
change to a sentence after the initial sentencing
date (such as probation revocation) was ignored.
Sampling
The same sample of 300 counties drawn for the
2002 survey was used in the 2004 and 2006 surveys. While there were 3,141 counties or county
equivalents in the nation in 2002, 36 reported
their NJRP data in combination with another
county or county equivalent. This left 3,105
jurisdictions to be divided into 20 strata. Each
county was assigned to one stratum by meeting
the conditions for that stratum.
The survey used a stratified cluster sampling
design. The largest 75 counties in the United
States (as defined by the 2000 resident population) were separated from the 3,105 jurisdictions
(appendix table). Each state was then assigned a
cost-factor (1, 3, or 5) which reflected the overall
cost of collecting their 2000 NJRP data. Counties
in states where data collection is not costly were
assigned a 1. Counties in states where data collection is moderately costly were assigned a 3.
Counties in states where data collection is costly
were assigned a 5.

Counties in each cost-factor group were then
separated into categories based on the size of
their 2000 population. Among the nation's largest 75 counties, those assigned a cost-factor 1
were separated into 2 strata (defined by year
2000 population size), cost-factor 3 counties
remained in one stratum, and cost-factor 5
counties were separated into 2 strata (defined by
year 2000 population size). Among counties that
were not one of the nation's largest 75, those
assigned a cost-factor of 1 were separated into
5 strata (defined by year 2000 population size).
Cost-factor 3 counties were separated into
4 strata (defined by year 2000 population size),
and cost-factor 5 counties were separated into
5 strata (defined by year 2000 population size).
Because the 75 largest counties account for a disproportionately large amount of serious crime in
the Nation, they were given a greater chance of
being selected than the remaining counties.
Altogether, 58 out of the 75 largest counties were
sampled. All 36 counties in strata 0, 11, and 12
were selected for the sample. Strata 31, 51, and
52 consisted of the remaining 22 counties sampled from the largest 75 counties. Strata 111, 112,
113, 114, 115, 131, 132, 133, 134, 151, 152, 153,
154, and 155 included 242 counties sampled
from among the 3,030 not among the 75 largest.
The final sample thus included 300 counties
(58 out of the 75 largest counties, and 242 out of
the remaining 3,030 counties). Seven of the
300 counties did not participate and were
replaced by other counties. The 300 included at
least one county from every state except, by
chance, Nevada, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
Two of the 300 had no felony convictions during
the 2006 survey period. In total, the 2006 survey
obtained case-level data on 494,055 convicted
felons in 300 counties selected to represent the
estimated 1,132,292 persons convicted of a felony in state courts that year. Of these sampled
cases, 344,147 were in the 75 largest counties.
The 36 sampled counties in strata 0, 11, and 12
were self-representing only, and their sampled
cases therefore had a sampling weight of 1. The
remaining strata were selected to represent their
respective strata so that the sampled felony conviction cases had weights greater than 1.

Sampling error

Missing data

NJRP data were obtained from a sample and not
from a complete enumeration; consequently,
they are subject to sampling error. A standard
error, which is a measure of sampling error, is
associated with each number in these statistical
tables. In general, if the difference between two
numbers is at least twice the standard error of
that difference, there is at least 95% confidence
that the two numbers do in fact differ; that is, the
apparent difference is not simply the result of
surveying a sample rather than the entire population. All differences discussed in this report
were statistically significant at or above the 95%
confidence interval.

Not all jurisdictions were able to provide data for
2006. Data from 12 Minnesota counties for the
2006 survey pertain to sentences imposed in
2005. Fifteen additional counties were unable to
provide complete data files for the 2006 survey—San Bernardino, Sonoma, and Ventura
Counties, California; Boulder, Colorado; Duval,
Florida; DuPage, Illinois; Cumberland, Maine;
Belknap, New Hampshire; Putnam, West Virginia; and Canadian, Comanche, McClain, Rogers, Tulsa, and Washington Counties, Oklahoma.
Consequently, the latest available data for these
jurisdictions were used in place of the 2006 data.
For 14 of the 15 counties, files submitted for the
2004 NJRP were used for the 2006 survey. Data
submitted for the 2002 NJRP were used for San
Bernardino County.

Sources of data
State courts were the source of NJRP data for
about 44% of the 300 counties sampled. For
other counties, sources included prosecutors'
offices, sentencing commissions, and statistical
agencies.
For 298 of the 300 counties sampled, individuallevel NJRP records were obtained in electronic
format. The other two jurisdictions provided
data through photocopies of official documents.
All data were collected and processed by the U.S.
Census Bureau.
Resident population estimates were obtained
from the National Center for Health Statistics.
Bridged-race intercensal estimates for 1990
through 1999 for United States resident population by county, single-year of age, sex, race, and
Hispanic origin, were prepared by the U.S. Census Bureau with support from the National Cancer Institute. Data are available on the Internet at
<http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/about/major/dvs/
popbridge/popbridge.htm> (released on July 26,
2004). Estimates of the resident population of
the United States for 2000 through 2007, by year,
county, age, bridged race, Hispanic origin, and
sex (vintage 2007) were prepared under a collaborative arrangement with the U.S. Census
Bureau; released August 7, 2008. Data are available on the Internet at: <http://www.cdc.gov/
nchs/about/major/dvs/popbridge/popbridge.htm> (accessed September 5, 2008).

Sentencing data obtained from Montgomery
County, Ohio, were not submitted electronically
and required manual coding. To expedite data
processing, a systematic sample of cases was
drawn from the court records.
Percentages are based on reported data only.
However, estimated numbers in table 1.2.1 are
adjusted for cases missing a designation of sentence type. The proportion of cases with valid
data are presented in the footnotes of each table.

Appendix table. NJRP sampling design
Total number of
counties in
stratum
Defining characteristics of each county in this stratum in 2000

Stratum

1 of 75 most populous counties in 2000
0
11 Population greater than 1,900,000

Approximate
sampling rate

Number of
counties
sampled

1 in 1

11

Not in stratum 0
11
12

Cost-factor of 1 - not sampled
12 Population between 900,001 and 1,900,000
13 Population between 679,001 and 900,000

1 in 1
1 in 1

12
13

31

Cost-factor of 3
15 Population between 679,001 and 1,900,000

nearly 1 in 1

13

51
52

Cost-factor of 5
10 Population between 1,000,001 and 1,900,000
14 Population between 679,001 and 1,000,000

1 in 3
1 in 2

3
6

Not 1 of 75 most populous counties in 2000
Cost-factor of 1
111
193 Population between 97,001 and 679,000
112
168 Population between 54,001 and 97,000
113
309 Population between 25,001 and 54,000
114
231 Population between 16,001 and 25,000
115
497 Population between 1 and 16,000

1 in 1
1 in 8
1 in 11
1 in 23
1 in 33

106
20
26
10
15

131
132
133
134

107
88
234
336

Cost-factor of 3
Population between 97,001 and 679,000
Population between 44,001 and 97,000
Population between 15,001 and 44,000
Population between 1 and 15,000

1 in 4
1 in 17
1 in 39
1 in 112

23
5
6
3

151
152
153
154
155

81
146
220
140
280

Cost-factor of 5
Population between 160,001 and 679,000
Population between 64,001 and 160,000
Population between 31,001 and 64,000
Population between 18,001 and 31,000
Population between 1 and 18,000

1 in 7
1 in 18
1 in 44
1 in 70
1 in 140

11
8
5
2
2

Crime definitions
Aggravated assault: Aggravated assault is (1)
intentionally and without legal justification causing serious bodily injury with or without a
deadly weapon or (2) using a deadly or dangerous weapon to threaten, attempt, or cause bodily
injury, regardless of the degree of injury. Aggravated assault includes attempted murder, aggravated battery, felonious assault, and assault with
a deadly weapon.
Burglary: Burglary is the unlawful entry of a
fixed structure used for regular residence, industry, or business, with or without the use of force,
to commit a felony or theft. Burglary includes
attempts.
Drug possession: Drug possession includes possession of an illegal drug, but excludes possession with intent to sell drugs. Drug possession
includes attempts.
Drug trafficking: Drug trafficking includes
manufacturing, distributing, selling, smuggling,
and possession with intent to sell drugs. Drug
trafficking includes attempts.
Fraud, forgery, and embezzlement: Fraud, forgery, and embezzlement includes using deceit or
intentional misrepresentation to unlawfully
deprive a person of his or her property or legal
rights. Fraud, forgery, and embezzlement
includes offenses such as check fraud, confidence games, counterfeiting, and credit card
fraud. Fraud, forgery, and embezzlement
includes attempts.
Larceny: Larceny is the unlawful taking of property from the possession of another, by stealth,
without force or deceit. Larceny includes pocket
picking, nonforcible purse snatching, shoplifting, and thefts from motor vehicles. Larceny
excludes motor vehicle theft, receiving or reselling stolen property (fencing), and thefts through
fraud or deceit. Larceny includes attempts.
Motor vehicle theft: Motor vehicle theft is the
attempted or actual unlawful taking of a self-propelled road vehicle owned by another. Includes
the theft of automobiles, trucks, and motorcycles, but not the theft of boats, aircraft, or farm
equipment (classified as larceny/theft). Also
includes receiving, possessing, stripping, transporting, and reselling stolen vehicles, and unauthorized use of a vehicle (joyriding).
Murder: Murder is (1) intentionally causing the
death of another person without extreme provocation or legal justification or (2) causing the
death of another while committing or attempting
to commit another crime.

Nonnegligent (or voluntary) manslaughter:
Nonnegligent manslaughter is intentionally and
without legal justification causing the death of
another when acting under extreme provocation.
The combined category of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter excludes involuntary or negligent manslaughter, conspiracies to commit murder, solicitation of murder, and attempted
murder.
Other specified offenses: This category includes
all felony offenses not included in other categories of this list, such as receiving stolen property,
driving while intoxicated or other traffic
offenses, bribery, obstructing justice, escaping
from custody, family offenses (such as child
neglect, contributing to the delinquency of a
minor, nonpayment of child support), and nonviolent sexual offenses (such as pornography
offenses, pimping, prostitution). Other specified
offenses include attempts to commit any of the
felonies included in the category.
Other violent: Other violent offenses includes
completed and attempted offenses such as kidnapping, extortion, and negligent manslaughter.
Murder, nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, other
sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault
are excluded.
Rape and other sexual assault: Rape is forcible
intercourse (vaginal, anal, or oral) with a female
or male. Includes forcible sodomy or penetration
with a foreign object (sometimes called “deviate
sexual assault”); excludes statutory rape or any
other nonforcible sexual acts with a minor or
with someone unable to give legal or factual consent. Rape includes attempts. Other sexual
assault includes (1) forcible or violent sexual acts
not involving intercourse with an adult or minor,
(2) nonforcible sexual acts with a minor (such as
statutory rape or incest with a minor), and (3)
nonforcible sexual acts with someone unable to
give legal or factual consent because of mental or
physical defect or intoxication. Other sexual
assault includes attempts.
Robbery: Robbery is the unlawful taking of
property that is in the immediate possession of
another by force or the threat of force. Robbery
includes forcible purse snatching, but excludes
nonforcible purse snatching, which is classified
as larceny or theft. Robbery includes attempts.
Weapon offenses: Weapon offenses include
unlawful sale, distribution, manufacture, alteration, transportation, possession, or use of a
deadly or dangerous weapon or accessory.

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

*NCJ~226846*

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

Washington, DC 20531

Official Business
Penalty for Private Use $300

The Bureau of Justice Statistics is the statistics agency of the
U.S. Department of Justice. Michael D. Sinclair is acting
director.
These Statistical Tables present the first release of findings
from permanent data collection programs.
Sean P. Rosenmerkel, Matthew R. Durose, and Donald J.
Farole, Jr., Ph.D. wrote this Bulletin. Tracey Kyckelhahn
verified the report.
Data collection and processing were performed by Raymond
Goode, Janean Darden, and Andrea Arroyo under the
supervision of Latrice Brogsdale-Davis of the Governments
Division of the U.S. Census Bureau.
Jill Duncan and Catherine Bird edited the report, Tina
Dorsey produced the report, and Jayne Robinson prepared
the report for final printing under the supervision of Doris J.
James.
December 2009, NCJ 226846

This report in portable document format and in ASCII and
its related statistical data and tables are available at the BJS
World Wide Web Internet site: <http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/
index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=2152>.

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