Federal Study Finds Conviction Rates are Increasing, But Incarceration is Decreasing

A federal analysis of data collected from all fifty U.S. states, including Colorado, found that while the number of adults convicted of felonies each year has increased overall in the United States, the percentage of those people who are required to serve a jail or prison sentence has actually gone down, according to a report released by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.

The report, which is based on data gathered in 2006, found that 1,132,290 adults faced a felony conviction in the U.S. in 2006. This number represents over 302,000 more people than were faced with a felony conviction in 1990. However, in 1990, 71 percent of those who were convicted of felonies in the United States were sent to prison as part or all of their sentence. By 2006, however, that number had decreased to 61 percent as states and local courts found different ways to penalize those who received felony convictions without actually sending those people to prison.

Further analysis of the data led the Bureau of Justice Statistics to conclude that, at least in part, the reduction in the percentage of people sentenced to prison terms after a felony conviction was due to an increase in probation as an option for certain people convicted of felonies. The percentage of individuals required to serve time in a county jail, instead of a state or federal prison, has also increased.

Felony crimes often involve serious offenses, and the penalties for a felony conviction are serious as well. If you’re facing a felony charge in Colorado, please don’t hesitate to contact the experienced Colorado felony defense attorneys at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. We can help you build an aggressive defense that protects your legal rights and fights for the best possible outcome in your case. For a confidential consultation, call us today at (719) 475-2555.

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