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
  • (July 2018) In fiscal year 2017, there were 543 oxycodone trafficking offenders, who accounted for 2.8% of all offenders sentenced under the drug trafficking guidelines. The number of oxycodone offenders has decreased by almost half (47.8%) since fiscal year 2014 when there were 1,040 such...

     

     

     

  • (July 2018) In fiscal year 2017, there were 2,658 heroin trafficking offenders, who accounted for 13.8% of all offenders sentenced under the drug trafficking guidelines. The number of heroin offenders has increased by 22.6% since fiscal year 2013.

Research Reports
  • (July 2018)  This publication examines the application and impact of the statutory penalty enhancement for federal drug trafficking offenders with a prior felony drug conviction (21 U.S.C. § 851).  

  • (June 2018) This publication presents a broad overview of federal sentencing data for fiscal year 2017. 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. 

  • (May 2018) For the first time, this report provides complete information on the number of convictions and types of offenses in the criminal histories of federal offenders sentenced in a fiscal year. In completing this report, the Commission collected additional details about the criminal histories for 61,946 of the 67,742 federal offenders sentenced in fiscal year 2016 for whom complete documentation was submitted to the Commission.

Data Reports
  • (August 2018) 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.

  • (July 2018) The preliminary data in these reports present selected quarterly sentencing information submitted to the Commission by the U.S. Courts.

  • (August 2018) 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.

  • (June 2018) This publication presents a broad overview of federal sentencing data for fiscal year 2017. 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. 

  • (May 2018) These annual reports provide data on the frequency of application of specific guidelines, including increases for aggravating factors and decreases for mitigating factors.

  • (April 2018) 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.

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