HomeCrimeBooking log analysis for 2022 and comparison with 2021
Booking log analysis for 2022 and comparison with 2021
January 16, 2023
BY LEN CABRERA
NOTE: This article was updated on 1/17 to correct the FTA & VOP rows in the “Alachua County Bookings” table. The rows were swapped for 2022 and the FTA value for 2021 was 742, not 621 as originally reported.
2022 was the second full year that the Alachua Chronicle published daily booking logs. You can read about our editorial decision to publish the booking logs here. What follows is a quick snapshot of the booking logs for 2022.
This is not necessarily an accurate picture of crime in Alachua County because it only shows the people arrested and booked, which does not capture all of the crime. Also, the summaries we provide are based on “dirty” data. We copy and paste directly from the logs as we receive them, with only minor corrections to keep the format consistent on a given day (not necessarily from day to day). We fix obvious typos or errors when we see them. Errors with names and dates of birth are fixed using court records when possible.
In the booking log that comes from the Alachua County Jail, charges are listed in text boxes, often with inconsistent abbreviations and frequently lacking sufficient detail to correctly record the full extent of the crimes alleged.
We will share 2021 numbers for comparison, but there is no way to know if the differences are caused by a change in crime rates or changes in enforcement policies. We cannot use the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Uniform Crime Reports for comparison because the report shows no data for Alachua County. From their website:
The method of crime data collection is changing nationwide. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has stopped collecting summary-based data following the 2020 collection cycle. Florida is transitioning to the new requirement, incident-based data. While local agencies are making this transition, Florida will collect and report data in each format until the transition is complete.
In 2022, there were 6,742 entries (i.e., one person booked on one day) in the booking log for the county jail; the number was 6,674 in 2021. This number does not count the total number of charges, as a single individual can have multiple charges or appear multiple times in the log in a single day. Of the 6,742 bookings, about 40% (2,712) had multiple charges, which is down from 46% (3,047) in 2021. There were a total of 14,014 individual charges, exactly 10 more than 2021.
The number of individuals booked by day varied from 4 to 34, with an average of 18.5 and median of 19 (compared to 18.3 and 18 in 2021). The chart below shows the distribution of bookings by day, which is about the same as 2021.
In 2022, 4,999 different individuals were booked in Alachua County; it was 4,854 in 2021. (Individuals are counted multiple times in the 6,742 bookings; we identify them by identical names and dates of birth.) Of the 4,999 individuals, nearly a quarter (1,196) were arrested more than once: 839 (16.7%) were arrested twice, 357 (7.1%) were arrested three or more times, and two individuals were arrested eight or more times (compared to 10 in 2021). Just over 21% of individuals booked had more than three charges filed against them (23% in 2021). The highest number of charges against a single person was 284 (booked on August 18 for forging and cashing checks).
Of the 6,742 bookings, about 12% (819) were additional charges or warrants for people already in the jail (i.e., they had “IN HOUSE” written somewhere in the log). Almost 17% (1,149) were probation violators, as indicated by VOP, MVOP, or FVOP listed in the log. Just over 4% (276) were people being sentenced to serve time at the county jail rather than a state correctional facility.
Other than the probation violators and the people already sentenced, detainees were only accused of a crime and had not been tried or convicted when they were booked into the jail. (FTA in the chart below stands for “failure to appear” and applies to people on pre-trial release who do not show up for a scheduled hearing.)
The logs are created by Alachua County Jail staff in an Excel spreadsheet that has a dropdown menu for various fields. (We usually receive it as a PDF document.) The choices for race include Asian, Black, Hispanic, Indian, and White. However, all but 26 of the 6,742 entries listed either Black or White, even when the name and/or picture of the accused clearly suggested otherwise. As entered, the logs show that 57% of those arrested were black and 42% were white, roughly the same as 2021.
The sex field should have fewer errors since there are only two options: male and female. If the entry doesn’t match the picture, we correct it. (Female inmates are given blue uniforms, and males have white/green striped uniforms.) Of the 6,742 bookings, 77.4% were male and 22.6% were female, down from 23.6% in 2021.
Over half the people booked were between 18 and 35 years old. The chart below shows the distribution by age, which is about the same as 2021.
It is difficult to summarize the charges because of inconsistent abbreviations. The table below shows my best attempt (with a reasonable amount of time and effort), using the same technique for the 2021 data for comparison. The table only includes local bookings (no out-of-county or out-of-state warrants) and omits anyone booked for failure to appear, violation of probation, or sentenced because the charges listed are associated with the original crime.
Bookings for most crimes were down in 2022 compared to 2021 except for sexual assaults, possession of child pornography, and other sex crimes. Total violent crimes (homicide, sexual assault, robbery, and battery) were down from 1,835 (27.5%) in 2021 to 1,451 (21.5%) in 2022.
Again, there’s no way to tell if these numbers reflect a reduction in crime or a change in the number of apprehensions.
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