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
  • (September 2017) In fiscal year 2016, there were 82 copyright and trademark infringement offenders who accounted for 0.1% of all offenders sentenced under the guidelines. The number of copyright and trademark infringement offenders has decreased during the last five years.

  • (September 2017) In fiscal year 2016, there were 272 counterfeiting offenders, who accounted for 0.4% of all offenders sentenced under the guidelines. The number of counterfeiting offenders has decreased during the last five years.

Research Reports
  • (September 2017) This publication summarizes the nature of emerging federal alternative-to-incarceration court programs and highlights several legal and social science issues relating to them. The Commission’s analysis is qualitative rather than quantitative at this juncture because of a lack of available empirical data about the programs. The publication concludes by identifying several questions about the federal court programs that policymakers and courts should consider in deciding whether, and if so how, such programs should operate in the federal criminal justice system in the future.

  • (September 2017) This report analyzes sentence commutations granted under the 2014 Clemency Initiative. The Commission reports the number of commutation recipients, their offenses of conviction, the average sentence reduction, and the extent to which recipients and other federal offenders appear to have met the 2014 Clemency Initiative's announced eligibility criteria.

  • (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.

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.

  • (September 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