Research
The Commission collects, analyzes, and disseminates a broad array of information on federal crime and sentencing practices. The Office of Research and Data collects data from documents submitted by the courts in each case in which a defendant is sentenced. From that data, the Commission prepares and disseminates public reports on a wide variety of sentencing issues. The Commission also uses this data in its consulting capacity to the courts, Congress, and the Executive Branch.


Explore our research and data reports below or download our datafiles and perform your own analysis.

Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics



Quick Facts
  • (August 2017) Native American offenders account for a small portion of federal offenders (2.0%). The number of Native American offenders has decreased by 11.6% over the last four years.

  • (August 2017) In fiscal year 2016, there were 1,554 robbery offenders, who accounted for 2.5% of all offenders sentenced under the guidelines. The number of robbery offenders has decreased during the last five years.

Research Reports
  • (July 2017) This report assesses the impact of mandatory minimum penalties on federal sentencing.  It continues the Commission’s work in this area by highlighting recent developments regarding the charging of offenses carrying a mandatory minimum penalty, and providing updated sentencing data regarding the use and impact of mandatory minimum penalties.

  • (May 2017) This publication presents information about youthful offenders (age 25 or younger for purposes of this report), including their demographic characteristics, what type of offenses they were sentenced for, how they were sentenced, and the extent of their criminal histories.  The report also discusses the intersection of neuroscience and law, and how this intersection has influenced the treatment of youthful offenders in the criminal justice system.

  • (March 2017) The focus of this report is the 25,431 U.S. citizen federal offenders released from prison or placed on probation in calendar year 2005. The findings included in this report build on those in the Recidivism Overview Report. Information about the components of Chapter Four of the Guidelines Manual—including total criminal history score, criminal history category, and point assignments for types of past convictions—and their association with recidivism are contained in this report.

Data Reports
  • (May 2017) This publication presents a broad overview of federal sentencing data for fiscal year 2016. 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. 

  • (August 2017) These reports present data on retroactive application of guideline amendments, including the 2014 Drug Amendment, 2010 Fair Sentencing Act Amendment, and 2007 Crack Cocaine Amendment.

  • (April 2017) These reports compare annual federal sentencing statistics from each judicial district, the districts within each judicial circuit, and the districts within each state to the nation as a whole.

  • (June 2017) The preliminary data in these reports present selected quarterly sentencing information submitted to the Commission by the U.S. Courts.

  • (July 2017) These annual reports provide data on the frequency of application of specific guidelines, including increases for aggravating factors and decreases for mitigating factors.

  • (October 2016) When possible, the Commission performs prison and sentencing impact assessments as part of its consideration of amendments to the federal sentencing guidelines. The Commission also is often asked to perform prison and sentencing impact assessments for Congress.

Commission Datafiles

The Commission's individual datafiles provide information on the sentences imposed in cases involving individuals. In these datafiles the individual is the unit of analysis. These datafiles do not contain information from the Commission's Organizational, Resentencing, or Appeals Databases.

The Commission's organizational datafiles provide information on the sentences imposed in cases involving organizational offenders (i.e., corporations, partnerships, and other entities having a legal existence separate from the individuals having an interest in them).

Commission datafiles that are used in various reports to Congress. These datafiles may contain information collected during a special coding project performed for a particular report and, therefore, will not be available in the Commission's fiscal year datafiles.

 

Reports to Congress