Case attrition is the failure of arrests to come to trial; less than half of all felony arrests result in conviction (Meyer, J & Grant, D. 2003). Basically, case attrition is when an arrest does not end in a trial conviction, which happens quite often in the court justice system. The effect case attrition has on the criminal justice system effects all levels of the criminal justice process, because an arrest or no arrest affects all aspects of the criminal justice process. Law enforcement officers can develop negative feelings about the justice system and feel that their work is not getting noticed. The high levels of case attrition in modern systems shows that the criminal law has very substantial limitations as a direct crime control such as, deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation.
Criminal convictions and penalties deserved punishment and reinforce important societal denunciation, but if these penal consequences are imposed according to procedure that are widely perceived as fair and just. Attrition can get rid of individuals in the over-worked justice system that were arrested that either had a problem with the legality of the arrest or it was the result of an overworked, or bad officer in a situation where an arrest was not necessary (Meyer, J & Grant, D. 2003). When these cases are removed from the justice system, it is possible for attorneys and judges to be able to focus on more serious crimes.
Meyer, J & Grant, D. (2003) The Courts in Our Criminal Justice System