News Release

U.S. Sentencing Commission
One Columbus Circle NE
Washington, DC 20002-8002

For Immediate Release
November 23, 2004

Contact: Michael Courlander
Public Affairs Officer
(202) 502-4597


WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 23, 2004) – The United States Sentencing Commission has issued another in its series of reports reviewing the first 15 years of federal guidelines sentencing. Earlier reports addressed cocaine sentencing policy, downward departures from the sentencing guidelines, a survey of federal judges concerning the sentencing guidelines, and findings from the Commission’s study of the recidivism of federal offenders. All of these reports are available on the Commission’s website at The new study, Fifteen Years of Guidelines Sentencing, is a comprehensive review of the research literature and sentencing data to assess how well the guidelines have achieved the goals for sentencing reform established by Congress in the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984. These goals include increased certainty and transparency of sentences, increased severity of sentences for certain types of serious crimes, and reduced sentencing disparity, including racial and ethnic disparity.

The Commission believes the study’s findings can provide valuable information to the public and to policymakers. The study, Fifteen Years of Guidelines Sentencing, will be posted on the Commission’s website on Tuesday, November 23, 2004. Printed copies will later be available from the Commission’s Office of Public Affairs.