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Startling Criminal Record Facts

Posted in News & Events, News Articles on 09/07/2007

Are you checking your candidate’s criminal background as thoroughly as possible to protect your employees and your company?

Here are some startling Department of Justice Statistics:

  • In 2004, State and Federal courts convicted a combined total of nearly 1,145,000 adults of felonies — State courts convicted an estimated 1,079,000 adults and Federal courts convicted 66,518 adults (accounting for 6% of the national total).
  • In 2004, 70% of all felons convicted in State courts were sentenced to a period of confinement – 40% to State prisons and 30% to local jails. Jail sentences are for short-term confinement (usually for a year or less) in a county or city facility, while prison sentences are for long-term confinement (usually for over a year) in a State facility.
  • State courts sentenced 28% of convicted felons to straight probation with no jail or prison time to serve.
  • Prison sentences in State courts averaged almost 5 years in 2004.
  • The average sentence to local jail was 6 months. The average probation sentence was about 3 years.
  • Females accounted for a quarter of felony property offenders.
  • At yearend 2005, over 4.9 million adult men and women were under Federal, State, or local probation or parole jurisdiction; approximately 4,162,500 on probation and 784,400 on parole.
  • The 0.6% growth in the probation and parole population during 2005 — an increase of 31,626 during the year — was more than a fifth of the average annual increase of 2.8% since 1995.
  • At the end of 2005 —
  • Among offenders on probation, half (50 percent) had been convicted for committing a felony, 49% for a misdemeanor, and 1% for other infractions. Seventy percent of probationers were being actively supervised at the end of 2005; 9% were inactive cases and 10% had absconded. Nearly all of the offenders on parole (94%) had been sentenced to incarceration of more than 1 year. Women made up about 23% of the nation’s probationers and 12% of the parolees.
  • Approximately 55% of the adults on probation were white, and 30% were black, and 13% were Hispanic. Forty-one percent of parolees were white, 40% black, and 18% were Hispanic.
  • Inmates released from prison as a result of a parole board decision dropped from 50% of all adults entering parole in 1995 to 31% in 2005, while mandatory releases based on a statutory requirement increased from 45% to 51%.
  • Forty-five percent of parole discharges in 2005 successfully completed their term of supervision, unchanged since 1995. Thirty-eight percent were returned to jail or prison, and 11% absconded.
  • By the end of 2000, 16 States had abolished parole board authority for releasing all offenders, and another 4 States had abolished parole board authority for releasing certain violent offenders.

Contact our office at 800-991-9694 to see how you can strengthen your criminal records background searches.