The following tables illustrate many of the points made in the text concerning the number and disposition of cases in Philadelphia's courts. Several also provide information on the number and types of prison commitments and inmates and other details of criminal justice activity.
Unless otherwise noted, the data came from four manuscript sources. Data on pretrial commitments to, and discharges from, prison are from the Philadelphia County Prison Daily Occurrence Docket. The information in this docket consists of the name of the person committed (from which I derived the prisoner's gender), the date of commitment, the charge, the person authorizing the commitment, the date of discharge, the sentence (when applicable), and the name of the person authorizing, or the reason for, the discharge. I took a 1 percent sample of the entries in this docket for every even numbered year between 1800 and 1880 and a 10 percent sample for the simple process of calculating percentages of charges.
Data on the courts of record are from the Docket Books of the Philadelphia County Court of Quarter Sessions and the Philadelphia City Mayor's Court. The information in these dockets consists of the defendant's name, the charge, the grand jury disposition, plea, verdict, sentence, and the name of the presiding judge. For the quarter sessions, I took a 5 percent sample for 1800, 1810, 1815, 1820, 1825, and every even numbered year from 1830 to 1880. For the mayor's court, I took a 20 percent sample for the same years through 1836, the final year of this court's operation.
Many of the entries in the court dockets are incomplete, but they sometimes included additional information that I could make use of, such as information on the placing of costs on prosecutors. When there was no mention of the costs, I assumed that they were absorbed by the county. Infrequent charges could not be meaningfully analyzed by themselves, so I combined them to the general categories of morals, order, serious personal and property crime, and minor property crime.
Data on the characteristics of convicts in the county prison are from the Philadelphia County Prison Convict Description Docket. Information in this docket consists of the convict's name, race, sex, age, place of birth, occupation, crime, sentence, and number of times sentenced to prison. I took a 20
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Publication information: Book title: The Transformation of Criminal Justice, Philadelphia, 1800-1880. Contributors: Allen Steinberg - Author. Publisher: University of North Carolina Press. Place of publication: Chapel Hill, NC. Publication year: 1989. Page number: 233.