2005 Federal Sentencing Guidelines


CHAPTER FIVE - PART C - IMPRISONMENT

§5C1.1. Imposition of a Term of Imprisonment

(a) A sentence conforms with the guidelines for imprisonment if it is within the minimum and maximum terms of the applicable guideline range.

(b) If the applicable guideline range is in Zone A of the Sentencing Table, a sentence of imprisonment is not required, unless the applicable guideline in Chapter Two expressly requires such a term.

(c) If the applicable guideline range is in Zone B of the Sentencing Table, the minimum term may be satisfied by --

(1) a sentence of imprisonment; or

(2) a sentence of imprisonment that includes a term of supervised release with a condition that substitutes community confinement* or home detention according to the schedule in subsection (e), provided that at least one month is satisfied by imprisonment; or

(3) a sentence of probation that includes a condition or combination of conditions that substitute intermittent confinement, community confinement, or home detention for imprisonment according to the schedule in subsection (e).

(d) If the applicable guideline range is in Zone C of the Sentencing Table, the minimum term may be satisfied by --

(1) a sentence of imprisonment; or

(2) a sentence of imprisonment that includes a term of supervised release with a condition that substitutes community confinement* or home detention according to the schedule in subsection (e), provided that at least one-half of the minimum term is satisfied by imprisonment.

(e) Schedule of Substitute Punishments:

(1) One day of intermittent confinement in prison or jail for one day of imprisonment (each 24 hours of confinement is credited as one day of intermittent confinement, provided, however, that one day shall be credited for any calendar day during which the defendant is employed in the community and confined during all remaining hours);

(2) One day of community confinement (residence in a community treatment center, halfway house, or similar residential facility) for one day of imprisonment;

(3) One day of home detention for one day of imprisonment.

(f) If the applicable guideline range is in Zone D of the Sentencing Table, the minimum term shall be satisfied by a sentence of imprisonment.

Commentary

Application Notes:

1. Subsection (a) provides that a sentence conforms with the guidelines for imprisonment if it is within the minimum and maximum terms of the applicable guideline range specified in the Sentencing Table in Part A of this Chapter. For example, if the defendant has an Offense Level of 20 and a Criminal History Category of I, the applicable guideline range is 33-41 months of imprisonment. Therefore, a sentence of imprisonment of at least thirty-three months, but not more than forty-one months, is within the applicable guideline range.

2. Subsection (b) provides that where the applicable guideline range is in Zone A of the Sentencing Table (i.e., the minimum term of imprisonment specified in the applicable guideline range is zero months), the court is not required to impose a sentence of imprisonment unless a sentence of imprisonment or its equivalent is specifically required by the guideline applicable to the offense. Where imprisonment is not required, the court, for example, may impose a sentence of probation. In some cases, a fine appropriately may be imposed as the sole sanction.

3. Subsection (c) provides that where the applicable guideline range is in Zone B of the Sentencing Table (i.e., the minimum term of imprisonment specified in the applicable guideline range is at least one but not more than six months), the court has three options:

(A) It may impose a sentence of imprisonment.

(B) It may impose a sentence of probation provided that it includes a condition of probation requiring a period of intermittent confinement, community confinement, or home detention, or combination of intermittent confinement, community confinement, and home detention, sufficient to satisfy the minimum period of imprisonment specified in the guideline range. For example, where the guideline range is 4-10 months, a sentence of probation with a condition requiring at least four months of intermittent confinement, community confinement, or home detention would satisfy the minimum term of imprisonment specified in the guideline range.

(C) Or, it may impose a sentence of imprisonment that includes a term of supervised release with a condition that requires community confinement* or home detention. In such case, at least one month must be satisfied by actual imprisonment and the remainder of the minimum term specified in the guideline range must be satisfied by community confinement or home detention. For example, where the guideline range is 4-10 months, a sentence of imprisonment of one month followed by a term of supervised release with a condition requiring three months of community confinement or home detention would satisfy the minimum term of imprisonment specified in the guideline range.

The preceding examples illustrate sentences that satisfy the minimum term of imprisonment required by the guideline range. The court, of course, may impose a sentence at a higher point within the applicable guideline range. For example, where the guideline range is 4-10 months, both a sentence of probation with a condition requiring six months of community confinement or home detention (under subsection (c)(3)) and a sentence of two months imprisonment followed by a term of supervised release with a condition requiring four months of community confinement or home detention (under subsection (c)(2)) would be within the guideline range.

4. Subsection (d) provides that where the applicable guideline range is in Zone C of the Sentencing Table (i.e., the minimum term specified in the applicable guideline range is eight, nine, or ten months), the court has two options:

(A) It may impose a sentence of imprisonment.

(B) Or, it may impose a sentence of imprisonment that includes a term of supervised release with a condition requiring community confinement* or home detention. In such case, at least one-half of the minimum term specified in the guideline range must be satisfied by imprisonment, and the remainder of the minimum term specified in the guideline range must be satisfied by community confinement or home detention. For example, where the guideline range is 8-14 months, a sentence of four months imprisonment followed by a term of supervised release with a condition requiring four months community confinement or home detention would satisfy the minimum term of imprisonment required by the guideline range.

The preceding example illustrates a sentence that satisfies the minimum term of imprisonment required by the guideline range. The court, of course, may impose a sentence at a higher point within the guideline range. For example, where the guideline range is 8-14 months, both a sentence of four months imprisonment followed by a term of supervised release with a condition requiring six months of community confinement or home detention (under subsection (d)), and a sentence of five months imprisonment followed by a term of supervised release with a condition requiring four months of community confinement or home detention (also under subsection (d)) would be within the guideline range.

5. Subsection (e) sets forth a schedule of imprisonment substitutes.

6. There may be cases in which a departure from the guidelines by substitution of a longer period of community confinement* than otherwise authorized for an equivalent number of months of imprisonment is warranted to accomplish a specific treatment purpose (e.g., substitution of twelve months in an approved residential drug treatment program for twelve months of imprisonment). Such a substitution should be considered only in cases where the defendant’s criminality is related to the treatment problem to be addressed and there is a reasonable likelihood that successful completion of the treatment program will eliminate that problem.

7. The use of substitutes for imprisonment as provided in subsections (c) and (d) is not recommended for most defendants with a criminal history category of III or above. Generally, such defendants have failed to reform despite the use of such alternatives.

8. Subsection (f) provides that, where the applicable guideline range is in Zone D of the Sentencing Table (i.e., the minimum term of imprisonment specified in the applicable guideline range is twelve months or more), the minimum term must be satisfied by a sentence of imprisonment without the use of any of the imprisonment substitutes in subsection (e).

*Note: Section 3583(d) of title 18, United States Code, provides that "[t]he court may order, as a further condition of supervised release...any condition set forth as a discretionary condition of probation in section 3563(b)(1) through (b)(10) and (b)(12) through (b)(20), and any other condition it considers to be appropriate." Subsection (b)(11) of section 3563 of title 18, United States Code, is explicitly excluded as a condition of supervised release. Before the enactment of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, the condition at 18 U.S.C. § 3563(b)(11) was intermittent confinement. The Act deleted 18 U.S.C. § 3563(b)(2), authorizing the payment of a fine as a condition of probation, and redesignated the remaining conditions of probation set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3563(b); intermittent confinement is now set forth at subsection (b)(10), whereas subsection (b)(11) sets forth the condition of residency at a community corrections facility. It would appear that intermittent confinement now is authorized as a condition of supervised release and that community confinement now is not authorized as a condition of supervised release.

However, there is some question as to whether Congress intended this result. Although the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 redesignated the remaining paragraphs of section 3563(b), it failed to make the corresponding redesignations in 18 U.S.C. § 3583(d), regarding discretionary conditions of supervised release.

Historical Note: Effective November 1, 1987. Amended effective January 15, 1988 (see Appendix C, amendment 51); November 1, 1989 (see Appendix C, amendments 271, 275, and 302); November 1, 1992 (see Appendix C, amendment 462); November 1, 2002 (see Appendix C, amendment 646).