• Federal Criminal Justice System–More Prison, Less Probation.

    Since the advent of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, imprisonment has been the dominant sanction in the federal criminal justice system. In 2014, 90% of defendants convicted of federal crimes went to prison whereas 50% went to the pokey in 1980. Federal courts sentenced 2,300 fewer offenders to probation in 2014 than in 1980, […]

  • Inmates Serving Drug Sentences Are Dangerous! Yea, Right!

    You want to see the demographics of the typical inmate serving a federal drug sentence, look no more. This will illustrate how your hard earned tax dollars are being (mis)spent. At the end of the FY 2014, individuals serving drug sentences accounted for 49% of the total federal prison population. 45% of the 95,305 individuals […]

  • Figures Lie And Liars Figure!

    My father always said that figures lie and liars figure. That piece of advice has molded me into the consummate cynic that I am. The following data about the evolution of federal sentences over the past 25 years is disturbing. Across all six major categories of federal crime — violent, property, drug, public order, weapon, […]

  • FY 2014 and First Quarter 2015 Sentencing Trends!

    Earlier today, the Sentencing Commission released its data on sentencing trends for Fiscal Year 2014 (FY 2014). Below you’ll find a number of the commonly prosecuted offenses in federal court, the next entry will be the mean (average) sentence, the next figure is the median (halfway point of all sentences) sentence, and the last figure […]

  • Life Sentence Data In The Federal Bureau Of Prisons

    “Pine box parole” is an euphemism used to describe the plight of a federal criminal defendant who received a life sentence (or one so long it might as well have been life). In Fiscal Year 2013, federal judges imposed life sentences on 153 people and another 168 received sentences so long (more than 470 months) […]

  • Probation Population Up, Prison Population Down!

    %It’s a mixed report as far as whether the criminal justice system in this country is growing or contacting. The number of persons under adult correctional supervision fell by 41,500 persons during 2013, dropping to 6.89 million by yearend, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced. The decline in the correctional population (down 0.6%) was […]

  • Fiscal Year 2014 Sentencing Trends!

    The last quarter Fiscal Year 2014 sentencing statistics were released by the Sentencing Commission. There are lots of interesting information that the Commission has mined. One trend is that for all of Fiscal Year 2014, only 46.3% of sentences were imposed within the calculated guideline range and in the final quarter of FY2014 only 43.6% […]