What is Case Attrition?

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Case Attrition
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Case attrition is the failure of arrests to come to trial. Half or more of all felony arrests end with no conviction. Attrition is the result of people who get arrested for a crime but don't end up getting convicted along the lines somewhere. Some actions, for example, are not legally defined as crimes, and therefore they cannot result in arrest until and unless the legislature acts to change this. There are three models of criminal justice system the funnel. The funnel model demonstrates how many crimes that are processed through the system decreases at each step due to case attrition. The wedding cake model demonstrates how cases are arranged into layers depending on their significance, with less serious cases starting the bottom layer and more serious cases forming the smaller layers on top. The net has characteristics that allow some offenders to exit the net at certain points, while others struggle unsuccessfully to get free but merely further entangle themselves. Case attrition has an extremely huge effect on the criminal justice process. There are some cases where crimes occurred and go unreported. For example, in a lot of domestic abuses cases go unreported because of fearing retaliation or fearing loss of family income if the abuser is incarcerated. There are cases where crime and it does not become a criminal case. The police have to make determination on whether or not a crime has been committed, and if so, who is responsible for the crime. Also prosecutors have to use their discretion to decide which cases to pursue. In some cases it is clear that a crime has been committed but due to lack of sufficient evidence, cases are placed in the filling cabinet, awaiting additional developments. There are many factors at play that affect the process of indictment and conviction.
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