Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 2.7 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback65 pages $25.00 $20.00 20% Web Discount

In the United States, less than half of all felony arrests result in convictions. This failure of arrests to come to trial is called case attrition, and most attrition occurs between arrest and filing. This study examines the differences in felony case attrition among 25 large police agencies in Los Angeles County; determines how much of the variance can be explained by differences in police practices, after crime and community characteristics are controlled for; and identifies those policies and practices that were related to higher conviction rates. The results were mixed and largely negative. The authors found that prevailing assumptions about attrition rates should be reexamined, and that statistics reflecting case-attrition patterns are not a valid basis for comparative evaluation of police departments.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.