About the Data

The findings in this report are based on case-by-case data obtained from the Justice Departmentís Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) in Washington. The original sources of the information were the separate offices of the United States District Attorneys around the country. Once the data are received TRAC subjects them to a variety of validity checks.

These data are the basis for special reports -- like this one -- that TRAC periodically makes available on its public web site. In the last few years, other reports have focused on a range of different subjects such as disparity in federal sentencing, immigration enforcement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), enforcement of the terrorism laws in the two years after 9/11/01, the patterns and trends of staffing by the various agencies within DHS and criminal enforcement of the nationís civil rights and environmental laws.

Because most of the government data obtained by TRAC go back for several decades it frequently is possible to examine the performance of government through several administrations. In this report, for example, year-by-year enforcement counts begin during the last few years that President Reagan was in the White House and continue through the first half of the current fiscal year. This longer perspective also was useful in TRACís special report comparing environmental enforcement policies adopted during the first Clinton term, the second term and the first term of the current president.

Alternatively, users can obtain access to TRACís subscription site where they can independently analyze many different kinds of data using TRACís specially designed data mining tools. The other kinds of data -- also obtained as a result of numerous FOIA actions -- focus on a range of subjects: how the governmentís many agencies deploy federal workers, spend federal dollars, collect taxes, etc. With the data mining tools, depending on the subject, the data can be looked at by county, state, and federal judicial district. Per capita calculations, where relevant, have been developed along with a method for ranking the geographic units.

TRAC is currently working on a number of additional special reports that we will post on our public site as soon as they are completed.