skip navigation

Justinfo Subscribe to Stay Informed

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


NCJRS Abstract


Subscribe to Stay Informed
Want to be in the know? JUSTINFO is a biweekly e-newsletter containing information about new publications, events, training, funding opportunities, and Web-based resources available from the NCJRS Federal sponsors. Sign up to get JUSTINFO in your inbox.

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection.
To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database.

How to Obtain Documents
NCJ Number: NCJ 245351   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
Title: Missing Link: Examining Prosecutorial Decision-Making Across Federal District Courts
  Document URL: PDF 
  Dataset URL: DATASET 1
Author(s): Brian D. Johnson
Date Published: 03/2014
Page Count: 157
  Annotation: This study used unique data on Federal criminal case processing in examining jurisdictional variations in prosecutorial decisionmaking outcomes for U.S. Attorneys.
Abstract: Four conclusions were drawn from research findings. First, there was little systematic evidence of age, race, or gender disparities in U.S. Attorney’s decisions regarding which cases were accepted and which were declined for prosecution. The most common reason for declining to prosecute was weak or insufficient evidence. Second, there was some evidence of disparities in charge reduction; male defendants were less likely than female defendants to receive charge reductions; and Black and Hispanic defendants were slightly more likely than White defendants to receive charge reductions. Third, young male, minority defendants were both less likely to have their cases declined and less likely to receive charge reductions. Fourth, few of the district-level characteristics examined proved to be strongly related to jurisdictional variations in prosecutorial decisionmaking outcomes. The study recommends improving data collection efforts on Federal prosecutions, since the dearth of research on this issue reflects a lack of quality data on U.S. Attorneys’ decisionmaking processes and outcomes, as well as the social contexts in which these decisions are made. The current study linked information across multiple Federal agencies in order to track individual offenders across the various stages of the Federal justice system. It combined arrest information from the U.S. Marshall’s Services with charging information from the Executive Administrative Offices of the U.S. Attorney, and sentencing information from the U.S. Sentencing Commission. These individual data were then augmented with additional information on Federal courts in examining contextual variations in charging decisions across Federal jurisdictions. 18 tables and a bibliography of 145 listings
Main Term(s): Federal courts
Index Term(s): Prosecutors ; Prosecutorial discretion ; Decisionmaking ; Data collection ; NIJ final report
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 2010-IJ-CX-0012
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research) ; Research (Applied/Empirical)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

* A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's web site is provided.