Our Mission

The United States Sentencing Commission is an independent agency in the judicial branch of government. Its principal purposes are: (1) to establish sentencing policies and practices for the federal courts, including guidelines to be consulted regarding the appropriate form and severity of punishment for offenders convicted of federal crimes; (2) to advise and assist Congress and the executive branch in the development of effective and efficient crime policy; and (3) to collect, analyze, research, and distribute a broad array of information on federal crime and sentencing issues, serving as an information resource for Congress, the executive branch, the courts, criminal justice practitioners, the academic community, and the public.

An Introductory Video

This video provides an introduction to the United States Sentencing Commission, its commissioners, and the federal sentencing guidelines. Commissioners discuss the purpose of the federal sentencing guidelines and the importance of collecting and reviewing federal sentencing data in policymaking.