U. S. Sentencing Commission's 2018 Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics

Introduction

Introduction to the Revised Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics

This is the twenty-third edition of the United States Sentencing Commission’s Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics. This Sourcebook contains descriptive statistics on the application of the federal sentencing guidelines and provides selected district, circuit, and national sentencing data. The volume covers fiscal year 2018 (October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018, hereinafter “2018”). This Sourcebook, together with the 2018 Annual Report, constitutes the annual report referenced in 28 U.S.C. § 997, as well as the analysis, recommendations, and accounting to Congress referenced in 28 U.S.C. § 994(w)(3). The Commission received documentation on 69,425 federal felony and Class A misdemeanor cases involving individual offenders in fiscal year 2018.[1] The Commission coded and edited information from the sentencing documents in these cases into its comprehensive, computerized data collection system.

The Commission first released sentencing data in its 1988 Annual Report and reported this data annually until 1996. That year, the Commission compiled sentencing data into a new publication, the Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics. Over the next two decades new tables and figures were added to the Sourcebook, but the overall structure of the book has not changed until now.

The 2018 Sourcebook reflects a year-long process to update and revise the way the Commission reports sentencing data to the public. We have endeavored to make the Sourcebook more comprehensive, more informative, and easier to use. Many of the existing tables have been revised to reflect current sentencing practices. The figures have been updated to make them easier to understand and are now presented in color in the printed Sourcebook. Some figures and tables have been removed so that the data on them can be presented in new ways. Trend analyses have also been added to the major sections so that readers can see how sentencing patterns have changed over the last ten years. Additional analyses regarding drug and immigration crimes are presented, and new sections regarding firearms and economic offenses have been added, in order to give readers more complete information about the most frequently-occurring federal crimes. The Organizational Offender section of the Sourcebook has also been expanded, giving readers more detailed information about the organizations sentenced under Chapter Eight of the Guidelines Manual and the offenses they commit. Also, Appendix B, which provides sentencing data for each judicial district has been updated to reflect current sentencing practices. Finally, many of the titles and terms used in the Sourcebook have been modified to adopt a “plain language” approach.

One major revision to the methodology used in the Sourcebook involves the way the Commission analyzes the sentence imposed relative to the sentencing range for the case as determined under the Commission’s Guidelines Manual. Beginning with this version of the Sourcebook, sentences now are grouped into two broad categories: Sentences Under the Guidelines Manual and Variances. The former category comprises all cases in which the sentence imposed was within the applicable guideline range or, if outside the range, where the court cited one or more of the departure reasons in the Guidelines Manual as a basis for the sentence. Variance cases are those in which the sentence was outside the guideline range (either above or below) and where the court did not cite any guideline reason for the sentence. Data for important subgroups within these two categories are also reported.

Other methodological changes are reflected in this version of the Sourcebook. Principal among them is the way cases are assigned to a “type of crime” (previously called offense type). Beginning with this report, the guideline (or guidelines) that the court applied in determining the sentence will determine the crime type category to which a case is assigned. Previously, the maximum penalty provided under the statute of conviction was used for this categorization. In cases where the offender was convicted of more than one offense, the Commission’s prior methodology occasionally assigned a case to an offense category that was different from the type of guideline that the court applied in determining the sentence. Beginning with fiscal year 2018 data, cases with more than one count of conviction will be assigned to the type of crime that aligns with the guideline that produced the highest sentencing range. Also, the names of some of the crime type categories have been revised and some outdated categories have been removed from the tables and figures.

Another important methodological change is that sentences are capped at 470 months for all analyses. This is consistent with the Commission’s long-standing practice of assigning a value of 470 months to any life imprisonment sentence. Now, determinate sentences of more than 470 months will not have a value greater than life imprisonment sentences.

The Drug Offenses section of the Sourcebook has been revised. Most of the analyses in that section now focus only on drug trafficking crimes. Also, data on the use of enhanced penalties in drug trafficking cases where the offender is a recidivist are included for the first time.

Finally, cases involving the production of child pornography have been assigned to the sexual abuse crime type. Previously, these cases were assigned to the child pornography offense type in the Sourcebook. This change reflects the way in which the production of child pornography is treated under the sentencing guidelines.

Because of these methodological changes, direct comparisons between data for fiscal year 2018 and later years cannot always be made to data reported in the Sourcebook for years before fiscal year 2018.

Background

The Commission collects and analyzes data on federal sentences to support its various activities. As authorized by Congress, the Commission’s numerous research responsibilities include: (1) the establishment of a research and development program to serve as a clearinghouse and information center for the collection, preparation, and dissemination of information on federal sentencing practices; (2) the publication of data concerning the sentencing process; (3) the systematic collection and dissemination of information concerning sentences actually imposed and the relationship of such sentences to the factors set forth in section 3553(a) of title 18, United States Code; and (4) the systematic collection and dissemination of information regarding the effectiveness of sentences imposed.[2]

The Commission maintains a comprehensive, computerized data collection system which forms the basis for its clearinghouse of federal sentencing information and which contributes to the agency’s research mission.

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 994(w), the chief judge of each district is required to ensure that, within 30 days of entry of judgment in a criminal case, the sentencing court submits a report of sentence to the Commission that includes: (1) the Judgment and Commitment Order, (2) the written Statement of Reasons, (3) any plea agreement, (4) the indictment or other charging document, (5) the Presentence Report, and (6) any other information the Commission requests.

Data from these documents are extracted and coded for input into various databases. It should be noted that data collection is a dynamic rather than a static process. When research questions arise, the Commission either analyzes existing data or adds information to its data collection system.

In 2012, the Commission began making its datasets available through the Commission’s website.[3] The Commission’s computerized datasets, without individual identifiers, are also available through the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan (ICPSR).[4]

Datafiles

For each case in its Offender Datafile, the Commission routinely collects case identifiers, sentencing data, demographic variables, statutory information, the complete range of court guideline decisions, and departure and variance information. Throughout 2018, the Commission continued to add data elements to its extensive computerized datafile on defendants sentenced under the guidelines. In addition to its standard data collection, the Commission often codes additional variables to study various distinct issues (e.g., drug offenses, criminal history).

The Commission’s 2018 Offender Datafile contains documentation on 69,425 felony and Class A misdemeanor cases in which an individual offender was sentenced between October 1, 2017, and September 30, 2018. A “case” is defined as one sentencing event for an individual defendant.

The Organizational Datafile contains documentation on organizations sentenced pursuant to Chapter Eight of the Guidelines Manual in 2018. The Commission collects available data on organizational structure, size, and economic viability; offense of conviction; mode of adjudication; sanctions imposed (including probation and court-ordered compliance and ethics programs); and application of the sentencing guidelines. The Commission received information on 99 organizations sentenced pursuant to Chapter Eight of the Guidelines Manual.

While the 2018 reporting year includes cases sentenced between October 1, 2017, and September 30, 2018, it is important to note that the individual offender and organizational data collected and analyzed in the 2018 Annual Report and Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics reflect cases for that fiscal year reported to the Commission (i.e., guidelines cases for which the courts forwarded appropriate documentation to the Commission) by February 25, 2019.

The Appeals Datafile tracks appellate review of sentencing decisions. Information captured in this module includes district, circuit, date of opinion, sentencing issues, and the appellate court’s disposition. The Commission also tracks final opinions and orders, both published and unpublished, in federal criminal appeals. In 2018, the Commission gathered information on 7,038 cases decided by the courts of appeal. Cases involving co-appellants are treated as separate appeals for statistical purposes.

The Commission implemented a data collection system to track resentencings and other modifications of sentence in 2008. The information collected includes judicial district, reason for resentencing, new sentence, and guideline application information, if available. Information is collected on eight types of resentencings and other modifications of sentence. In 2018, the Commission received documentation on 3,241 resentencings and other modifications of sentence.

The 2018 Annual Report and Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics, quarterly updates to federal sentencing data, and the Commission’s Interactive Sourcebook are available on the Commission’s website at https://www.ussc.gov/research.

The Commission also has an Interactive Sourcebook, in which sentencing data can be tailored to any district or group of districts, or to a circuit or group of circuits. Users can also change the fiscal year of the data presented, or group multiple years of data into one analysis. All analyses using the online tool can be saved into a .pdf format for later use or printing.


1  28 U.S.C. § 994(w); USSG §1B1.9.
2  28 U.S.C. §§ 995(a)(12) and (14) – (16).
3  The Commission’s datasets can be found at https://www.ussc.gov/research/datafiles/commission-datafiles.
4  The Consortium’s website address is https://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/index.jsp.


Tables and Figures

2018 Circuit and District Statistics
Figure 1
Federal Offenders in Each District
Table 1
Federal Offenders in Each Circuit and District
Table 2
Document Submission by Each Circuit and District

2018 Primary Offense and Offender Characteristics
Table 3
Conviction Type in Each Circuit and District
Table 4
Change in Number of Federal Offenders by Type of Crime
Figure 2
Federal Offenders by Type of Crime
Figure 3
Number of Federal Offenders Over Time
Table 5
Race of Federal Offenders by Type of Crime
Table 6
Gender of Federal Offenders by Type of Crime
Table 7
Age of Federal Offenders by Type of Crime
Table 8
Age, Race, and Gender of Federal Offenders
Table 9
Citizenship of Federal Offenders by Type of Crime
Figure 4
Non-Citizen Status of Federal Offenders by Type of Crime
Table 10
Education of Federal Offenders by Type of Crime

2018 Sentencing Information
Table 11
Guilty Pleas and Trials in Each Circuit and District
Table 12
Guilty Pleas and Trials by Type of Crime
Figure 5
Guilty Pleas and Trials by Type of Crime
Figure 6
Sentence Type for Federal Offenders
Table 13
Sentence Type by Type of Crime
Table 14
Sentence Type by Citizenship and Sentencing Zone
Table 15
Sentence Imposed by Type of Crime
Table 16
Fine and Restitution by Type of Crime
Table 17
Amount of Fine and Restitution Ordered by Type of Crime
Table 18
Supervised Release by Type of Crime
Table 19
Rate of Non-Prison Sentences for U.S. Citizen Offenders

2018 Guideline Application
Table 20
Federal Offenders Sentenced Under Each Chapter Two Guideline
Table 21
Federal Offenders Receiving Chapter Three Guideline Adjustments
Table 22
Acceptance of Responsibility Reductions by Type of Crime
Figure 7
Criminal History Category of Federal Offenders
Table 23
Criminal History Points of Federal Offenders
Table 24
Federal Offenders in Each Offense Level and Criminal History Category
Table 25
Federal Offenders in Each Guideline Sentencing Range
Table 26
Number of Career Offenders and Armed Career Criminals by Type of Crime
Table 27
Sentence Length in Each Criminal History Category by Type of Crime
Table 28
Length of Imprisonment by Criminal History Category and Type of Crime

2018 Sentences Under the Guidelines Manual and Variances
Table 29
Sentence Imposed Relative to the Guideline Range
Figure 8
Sentences Under the Guidelines Manual and Variances Over Time
Figure 9
Sentence Imposed Relative to the Guideline Range Over Time
Table 30
Sentence Imposed Relative to the Guideline Range in Each Circuit and District
Table 31
Sentence Imposed Relative to the Guideline Range by Type of Crime
Table 32
Sentence Imposed Relative to the Guideline Range by Primary Sentencing Guideline
Table 33
Attribution Category for Sentences Outside of the Guideline Range
Table 34
Position of Within Guideline Range Sentences by Type of Crime
Table 35
Extent of Upward Departures by Type of Crime
Table 36
Extent of Upward Variances by Type of Crime
Table 37
Extent of §5K1.1 Substantial Assistance Departures by Type of Crime
Table 38
Extent of §5K3.1 Early Disposition Program Departures by Type of Crime
Table 39
Extent of Other Downward Departures by Type of Crime
Table 40
Extent of Downward Variances by Type of Crime
Table 41
Reasons Given by Sentencing Courts for Upward Departures from the Guideline Range
Table 42
Reasons Given by Sentencing Courts for Upward Variances from the Guideline Range
Table 43
Reasons Given by Sentencing Courts for Downward Departures from the Guideline Range
Table 44
Reasons Given by Sentencing Courts for Downward Variances from the Guideline Range

2018 Drug Offenses
Figure D-1
Distribution of Primary Drug Type in Federal Drug Cases
Table D-1
Primary Drug Type of Drug Trafficking Offenders
Table D-2
Race of Drug Trafficking Offenders
Table D-3
Gender of Drug Trafficking Offenders
Table D-4
Age of Drug Trafficking Offenders
Table D-5
Citizenship of Drug Trafficking Offenders
Table D-6
Education of Drug Trafficking Offenders
Table D-7
Criminal History Category of Drug Trafficking Offenders
Table D-8
Weapon Involvement of Drug Trafficking Offenders
Table D-9
Role Adjustment of Drug Trafficking Offenders
Table D-10
Drug Amounts (in Grams) for Selected Base Offense Levels and Drug Types
Table D-11
Length of Mandatory Minimum Penalties in Drug Trafficking Cases
Table D-12
Application of Recidivist Penalties in Drug Trafficking Cases
Table D-13
Drug Trafficking Offenders Receiving Safety Valve and Mandatory Minimum Penalties
Figure D-2
Mandatory Minimum Penalties in Drug Trafficking Cases
Table D-14
Sentence Imposed Relative to the Guideline Range for Drug Trafficking Offenders
Figure D-3
Sentence Length of Drug Trafficking Offenders by Major Drug Type
Figure D-4
Number of Drug Trafficking Offenders by Major Drug Type Over Time
Figure D-5
Sentence Length of Drug Trafficking Offenders by Major Drug Type Over Time

2018 Immigration Offenses
Figure I-1
Distribution of Immigration Offenders by Guideline
Table I-1
Race of Immigration Offenders
Table I-2
Gender of Immigration Offenders
Table I-3
Age of Immigration Offenders
Table I-4
Citizenship of Immigration Offenders
Table I-5
Criminal History Category and Citizenship of Immigration Offenders
Table I-6
Education of Immigration Offenders
Table I-7
Sentence Imposed Relative to the Guideline Range for Immigration Offenders
Figure I-2
Number of Immigration Offenders Over Time
Figure I-3
Sentence Length of Immigration Offenders Over Time

2018 Firearms Offenses
Figure F-1
Distribution of Firearms Offenders by Guideline
Table F-1
Race of Firearms Offenders
Table F-2
Gender of Firearms Offenders
Table F-3
Age of Firearms Offenders
Table F-4
Citizenship of Firearms Offenders
Table F-5
Education of Firearms Offenders
Figure F-2
Firearm Mandatory Minimum Penalties
Figure F-3
Convictions Under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)
Table F-6
Sentence Imposed Relative to the Guideline Range for Firearms Offenders
Figure F-4
Number of Firearms Offenders Over Time
Figure F-5
Sentence Length of Firearms Offenders Over Time

2018 Economic Offenses
Figure E-1
Distribution of Economic Offense Offenders by Guideline
Table E-1
Race of Economic Offense Offenders
Table E-2
Gender of Economic Offense Offenders
Table E-3
Age of Economic Offense Offenders
Table E-4
Citizenship of Economic Offense Offenders
Table E-5
Education of Economic Offense Offenders
Table E-6
Loss Amount of Economic Offense Offenders
Table E-7
Sentence Imposed Relative to the Guideline Range for Economic Offense Offenders
Figure E-2
Number of Offenders in Each §2B1.1 Loss Table Category
Figure E-3
Number of Economic Offense Offenders Over Time
Figure E-4
Sentence Length of Economic Offense Offenders Over Time

2018 Organizational Offender Sentencing Data
Figure O-1
Organizational Offenders by Type of Crime
Figure O-2
Number of Organizational Offenders Over Time
Figure O-3
Organizational Offenders by Ownership Structure
Figure O-4
Organizational Offenders by Type of Business
Figure O-5
Size of Organizational Offenders by Number of Employees
Table O-1
Fine and Restitution for Organizational Offenders by Type of Crime
Table O-2
Amount of Fine and Restitution Ordered for Organizational Offenders by Type of Crime
Figure O-6
Application of Chapter Eight Fine Guidelines
Table O-3
Chapter Eight Sentencing Components for Organizational Offenders
Figure O-7
Culpability Factors Applied to Determine Fines Imposed on Organizational Offenders
Table O-4
Culpability Factors for Organizational Offenders

2018 Sentencing Appeals
Figure A
Type and Disposition of Appeals Cases
Table A-1
Type of Appeal in Each Circuit and District
Table A-2
Disposition of Offender Original Sentencing Appeals in Each Circuit and District
Table A-3
Disposition of Government Original Sentencing Appeals in Each Circuit and District
Table A-4
Guideline Forming the Basis for Reversal or Remand in Offender Appeals of the Original Sentence
Table A-5
Guideline Forming the Basis for Reversal or Remand in Government Appeals of the Original Sentence
Table A-6
Reasonableness Issues Appealed in Cases Where the Original Sentence Was Reversed or Remanded
Table A-7
Offense and Offender Characteristics in Original Sentence Appeals Cases
Table A-8
Sentence Length for Offenders in Original Sentence Appeals Cases by Type of Crime

2018 Resentencings and Other Modifications of Sentence
Figure R
Distribution of Offenders by Type of Resentencing or Other Modification of Sentence
Table R
Type of Resentencing or Other Modification of Sentence in Each Circuit and District

Appendices

2018 Appendix A
Appendix A
Descriptions of Datafiles and Variables

2018 Appendix B - Selected Sentencing Statistics by District
Table
Appendix B (All Districts)
Table
National
Table
Alaska
Table
Alabama Middle
Table
Alabama Northern
Table
Alabama Southern
Table
Arkansas Eastern
Table
Arkansas Western
Table
Arizona
Table
California Central
Table
California Eastern
Table
California Northern
Table
California Southern
Table
Colorado
Table
Connecticut
Table
District of Columbia
Table
Delaware
Table
Florida Middle
Table
Florida Northern
Table
Florida Southern
Table
Georgia Middle
Table
Georgia Northern
Table
Georgia Southern
Table
Guam
Table
Hawaii
Table
Idaho
Table
Illinois Central
Table
Illinois Northern
Table
Illinois Southern
Table
Indiana Northern
Table
Indiana Southern
Table
Iowa Northern
Table
Iowa Southern
Table
Kansas
Table
Kentucky Eastern
Table
Kentucky Western
Table
Louisiana Eastern
Table
Louisiana Middle
Table
Louisiana Western
Table
Maine
Table
Maryland
Table
Massachusetts
Table
Michigan Eastern
Table
Michigan Western
Table
Minnesota
Table
Mississippi Northern
Table
Mississippi Southern
Table
Missouri Eastern
Table
Missouri Western
Table
Montana
Table
Nebraska
Table
Nevada
Table
New Hampshire
Table
New Jersey
Table
New Mexico
Table
New York Eastern
Table
New York Northern
Table
New York Southern
Table
New York Western
Table
North Carolina Eastern
Table
North Carolina Middle
Table
North Carolina Western
Table
North Dakota
Table
Northern Mariana Islands
Table
Ohio Northern
Table
Ohio Southern
Table
Oklahoma Eastern
Table
Oklahoma Northern
Table
Oklahoma Western
Table
Oregon
Table
Pennsylvania Eastern
Table
Pennsylvania Middle
Table
Pennsylvania Western
Table
Puerto Rico
Table
Rhode Island
Table
South Carolina
Table
South Dakota
Table
Tennessee Eastern
Table
Tennessee Middle
Table
Tennessee Western
Table
Texas Eastern
Table
Texas Northern
Table
Texas Southern
Table
Texas Western
Table
Utah
Table
Vermont
Table
Virginia Eastern
Table
Virginia Western
Table
Washington Eastern
Table
Virgin Islands
Table
Washington Western
Table
West Virginia Northern
Table
West Virginia Southern
Table
Wisconsin Eastern
Table
Wisconsin Western
Table
Wyoming