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Statistical Summary of Adult Felony Sentencing Fiscal Year 2002

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2003
66 pages
This report summarizes Washington State's data on adult felony sentences for the period July 1, 2001, through June 30, 2002, (fiscal year 2002).
Data address average sentence lengths, the number of sentences, sentence departures from guidelines, persistent offenders, exceptional sentences, and sex offender sentencing under RCW 9.94A.712; the latter legislation provides for a presumptive sentence range to be determined by reference to the seriousness of the current offense, the number and type of the offender's prior offenses, and other current offenses. In FY 2002 the number of felony sentences imposed in the State increased 10.2 percent from the previous year, from 25,248 to 27,835. A total of 21 offenders were sentenced to life in prison as persistent offenders under the "three strikes" provision of RCW 9.94A.030(32). Ten sex offenders were sentenced to life in prison under the "two-strikes" provision. The percentage of felony sentences that resulted in a prison sentence remained at 30.7 percent. The average prison sentence was 37.9 months, down from 40.5 months the previous year. This was due primarily to a decrease in the average sentence for assault, particularly assault in the first degree, assault in the third degree, and unlawful possession of a firearm in the first degree. The number of sentences imposed for drug law violations increased by 9.9 percent over the previous year, and the number of first-time offender waivers granted increased from 1,736 in FY 2001 to 1,789 in FY 2002 (3.6-percent increase). The number of offenders who received a Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative increased from 188 for FY 2001 to 224 in FY 2002 (19.1-percent increase). The number of offenders who received a Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative was 2,020, a 12.2-percent increase from the previous year. 18 tables and an appended sentencing grid and crime included within each seriousness level