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Comparing Case Processing Statistics

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 1998
2 pages
Case processing statistics maintained by Federal criminal justice agencies are not comparable due to the way in which agencies tally defendants and cases processed, define defendants processed, classify offenses committed, and classify dispositions and sentences imposed.

This joint statement of five Federal criminal justice agencies identifies the primary differences in case processing statistics reported by the agencies and explains why reported statistics are not directly comparable across agencies. By examining issues central to the collection and reporting of Federal criminal justice statistics (defendants processed, offenses committed, and disposition and sentence imposed) this statement clarifies differences in emphasis, definition, and classification. Originally published in August 1996, this updated edition identifies an additional factor that contributes to the disparity in the statistics reported by each of the agencies.

Date Published: April 1, 1998