Disproportionality – A difference in number – an over-representation of one group relative to the general population, for example where Black individuals make up a majority of defendants, but are a minority in the population.

Disparity – A difference in treatment where like cases are treated differently or where the impact of decisions affect one group more than another.

Complete Dismissal - Where all charges for an individual that a solicitor is reviewing together are all dismissed without any of them being prosecuted, or even offered a PreTrial Intervention.

Dismissed as part of PreTrial Intervention or diversion - Where an individual successfully completes a PreTrial Intervention or diversion program, charges are dismissed.

Dismissed as part of a plea negotiation - If an individual is facing multiple charges, solicitors and defense attorneys often negotiate for the individual to plead guilty to some charges while other charges are dismissed.

Charge severity - South Carolina law provides ranges of punishment, such as the minimum or maximum fine or prison sentence, for each charge. When an individual is found guilty of a charge, the individual then receives a sentence that falls within the range for that charge. A charge severity index is created that ranks charges based on the average punishment received for each charge.

Charge reduction - Solicitors may ‘reduce’ a charge by changing the charge an individual faces to one with a lower charge severity.

Charge increase - Solicitors may ‘increase’ a charge by changing the charge an individual faces to one with a higher charge severity.

Concurrent sentence - When a defendant is found guilty of multiple charges, the defendant receives a punishment sentence for each charge. If multiple charges receive a prison sentence, those sentences can be served concurrently or consecutively where concurrently means the individual serves each sentence at the same time.

Custodial sentence - A custodial sentence is any sentence resulting in the individual being sentenced to detention to anything more than 5 days of pre-trial detention.

Statistical significance - The probability that the event happened purely by chance is sufficiently small (i.e., less than %5) that we can conclude there is likely an external explanation for the outcome.

Charge severity - Charge severity can be determined in a number of ways, including by maximum statutory possible penalty, the minimum statutory possible penalty, or the average penalty for those found guilty in the Ninth Circuit. Given that the statutory penalties often overlap, especially for similar charges, we choose to use the average penalty for those found guilty as it provides a more specific estimate of what punishment an individual is likely to face.

Indictment - The formal bringing of charges by a grand jury.