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Profile of Class 4 Felony Offenders Sentenced to Prison in Illinois

NCJ Number
ICJIA Research Bulletin Volume: 4 Issue: 7 Dated: December 2005 Pages: 1-8
Jessica Ashley; Christopher Humble
Date Published
December 2005
8 pages
This research bulletin presents trends in the criminal histories and incarceration rates of Class 4 felons in Illinois.
Results indicate that Class 4 felony offenders in Illinois typically have extensive criminal histories yet enjoy relatively short prison terms. Over the past 20 years, Illinois’s prison population has experienced unprecedented growth due to increased admissions for drug offenses, longer sentences for violent offenders, and increases in the number of offenses mandating a prison term. Class 4 felonies account for a significant portion of the prison admission increase in Illinois. Adult incarceration trends for Class 4 felonies for the period 1995 through 2004 are analyzed followed by a description of offender characteristics. Between 1995 and 2004, Class 4 felons admitted to the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) rose 185 percent, comprising 40 percent of all felony offenders committed to prison by 2004. Drug offenders constituted 55 percent of Class 4 felony offenders committed to IDOC during 2004, 94 percent of whom had a conviction for possession of a controlled substance. Data concerning criminal histories indicated that most Class 4 felons (82 percent) committed to IDOC in 2004 had a prior Class 4 felony arrest and averaged 3 prior incarcerations. Lengths of incarceration for Class 4 felons were found to be relatively short; average time spent incarcerated in 2004 was 4 months. Data on felony offenders committed to IDOC between 1995 and 2004 and criminal histories of incarcerated Class 4 felony offenders were drawn from IDOC records. Tables, figures, notes