An estimated two-thirds of suspected criminals arrested on felony charges are convicted and more than one-third are incarcerated, according to a Justice Department study released yesterday.
The study by the department's Bureau of Justice Statistics showed that of 532,000 people arrested in 1984 on felony charges in 11 states, 84 percent were prosecuted, 62 percent were convicted and 36 percent were incarcerated.
Bureau officials said about 18 percent of the suspects arrested for violent felonies were convicted and sentenced to more than a year in prison, compared with 13 percent convicted of felony property crimes, 10 percent of felony drug arrests and 9 percent of "public-order" felonies, such as weapons violations, commercialized vice and violations of probation or parole.
Thirteen percent of the felony arrests ended in a prison sentence of more than one year, department officials said.
The study showed that those arrested on suspicion of murder faced a 49 percent chance of being sentenced to more than one year in prison, compared with 29 percent for rape, 28 percent for robbery, 20 percent for burglary, 10 percent for motor vehicle theft and 7 percent for felony weapons violations.
Seventy-four percent of the men and women prosecuted were found guilty, while 2 percent were acquitted. About 23 percent had their cases dismissed.
Suspects arrested for public-
order felonies were prosecuted at the highest rate, 90 percent, the study showed. Those arrested for felony drug offenses were prosecuted at the lowest rate, 78 percent.
The survey showed 42 percent of the convicted offenders received sentences such as probation, fines or mandatory community service, rather than being sent to jail or prison.