Research Publications

2013

This publication presents a broad overview of federal sentencing data for fiscal year 2012. It provides a brief, easy-to-use reference on the types of criminal cases handled by federal courts and the punishments imposed on offenders convicted in those cases. (July 2013)

2012

This publication presents a broad overview of federal sentencing data for fiscal year 2011. It provides a brief, easy-to-use reference on the types of criminal cases handled by federal courts and the punishments imposed on offenders convicted in those cases. (September 2012)

This publication presents a broad overview of federal sentencing data for fiscal year 2010. It provides a brief, easy-to-use reference on the types of criminal cases handled by federal courts and the punishments imposed on offenders convicted in those cases. (July 2012)

2010

This publication provides a broad overview of federal sentencing data for fiscal year 2009. Readers will find this publication to be a brief, easy-to-use reference on the types of criminal cases handled by the federal courts and the punishments imposed on the offenders convicted in those cases. (December 2010)

This document provides certain information considered by the Commission as part of its determination to amend the guideines to eliminate the consideration of "recency" points provided in USSG §4A1.1(e). That amendment, amendment number 5, currently is pending before Congress as part of the package of amendments submitted to Congress on April 29, 2010. The amendment has a specified effective date of November 1, 2010. (August 2010)

This paper explains the way in which the Commission collects sentencing information, and discusses analytical issues that may arise when using the Commission's sentencing data. (August 2010)

This report provides a comprehensive review of the legal and data issues related to the imposition, modification, and revocation of federal supervised release. (July 2010)

A report updating the Commission's data analysis concerning demographic differences in federal sentencing practices set forth in Chapter 5 of the Commission's 2006 Final Report on the Impact of United States v. Booker on Federal Sentencing. (March 2010)

2009

This report introduces the process the United States Sentencing Commission uses to create its fiscal year individual offender datafiles from documents submitted to the Commission. Issues surrounding the use of differing form types and conflicting information among documents are also addressed. The report is designed to help researchers use the Commission's datafiles by providing answers to common data analysis questions. (May 2009)

This report provides an analysis of the role of convictions for prior minor offenses in the sentences of federal offenders. It examines the extent to which convictions for prior minor offenses may prevent drug trafficking offenders from receiving a sentence below the statutory mandatory minimum punishments for drug trafficking crimes. The publication utilizes data drawn from a large research sample of offenders sentenced in fiscal year 2006. (March 2009)

2008

This publication provides an overview of the number and types of offenses tried in the federal courts and the people who commit them. It examines the growth in the federal criminal case load over a 17-year period, and the changing trends in the types of crime committed and the demographic characteristics of the offenders who commit these crimes. The publication reviews data reported to the United States Sentencing Commission for fiscal year 1991 through fiscal year 2007. (December 2008)

This publication provides a broad overview of federal sentencing data for fiscal year 2007. Readers will find this publication to be a brief, easy-to-use reference on the types of criminal cases handled by the federal courts and the punishments imposed on the offenders convicted in those cases. (December 2008)

2005

The third release in the Research Series on the Recidivism of Federal Offenders describes the empirical foundations of the guidelines' Chapter Four Criminal History Category and its links to the Salient Factor Score risk prediction instrument developed by the U.S. Parole Commission. The report documents the comparative recidivism predictive power of both measures, both for their individual component elements, and for their total formulations. The analysis measures the predictive power of hypothetical reformulations of the Criminal History Category, reporting a suggested impact of age and first offender elements upon guideline recidivism prediction. (January 4, 2005)

2004

This second release in the Research Series on the Recidivism of Federal Offenders provides an empirical foundation for the Commission's study of recidivism rates among federal offenders with little or no criminal history prior to the federal instant offense. Using definitional frameworks established in several earlier Commission staff working group studies on "first offenders," the data documents recidivism risk for three plausible first offender groupings. The analysis reports that recidivism risk is lowest for those offenders with least experience in the criminal justice system. (May 2004)

The first release in the Research Series on the Recidivism of Federal Offenders, this report examines in detail the predictive statistical power of the Chapter Four Criminal History guidelines. The study uses pre-conviction and instant offense information for a sample of guideline federal offenders sentenced in fiscal year 1992, matched with their post-sentencing criminal behavior collected from FBI records. Both tabular and statistical models of recidivism outcomes report findings by criminal history category and point groupings, as well as by offender demographics, instant offense characteristics, and recidivating offense types. (May 2004)

1998

This exploratory research report examines the guidelines' "substantial assistance" policy statement in light of the guidelines' overall statutory goal of fair and honest sentencing. The study focused on whether different districts' policies and procedures were consistent and whether similar defendants were receiving similar sentence reductions for providing similar assistance. (January 1998)