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NCJ Number: 72633 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Denver Plea Bargaining Reduction Project - An Evaluation
Author(s): J S Sterling; L P Tiffany; W M Beaney
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 115
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report assesses the extent to which the aims of the Plea Bargaining Reduction project (PBR) were achieved; the project was initiated in 1978 by the Denver District Attorney's office and funded by LEAA.
Abstract: The project was directed solely toward charge bargaining. The project sought to reduce plea bargaining in all felony cases, once there had been a plea and setting in district court, and to reduce plea bargaining in juvenile court felony level cases. To this end, the project provided for improved screening of felony cases filed by the police, more intensive and earlier investigation of cases accepted by the District Attorney's offfice, and better preparation of cases so that realistic bargaining could take place prior to plea and setting. Evaluation data were collected via interviews and examination of official records. Felony cases were also studied and compared at the time of filing and disposition for 4 years preceding the project and for the first year after adoption of the new policy. Results showed that the tighter screening process reduced the number of felony filings, but produced only an insignificant increase in early dismissals. The frequency of preliminary hearings did not increase, as had been expected. Fewer multiple charges and an increase in cases disposed as misdemeanors in county court also occurred. Results also showed an increase in felony convictions, an increase in guilty pleas to the orginal charge, and an increase in trial rates. Most importantly, late guilty pleas and hence court delay have significantly decreased. For the Juvenile Court, there has been no significant change in the guilty plea rate, but more guilty pleas were entered to the original charge. Additional findings, footnotes, and appendixes presenting extensive tables and related information are included.
Index Term(s): Adult felony system; Colorado; Evaluation; Juvenile designated felonies; Plea negotiations; Program evaluation; Prosecutorial screening; Trial preparation
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