Few Long Sentences for Federal Convictions
(18 May 2015) During March 2015, the federal government reported the convictions of 12,383 individuals for federal crimes. Only slightly more than one-third (37%) -- 4,630 defendants -- were sentenced to prison terms of one year or more. The remainder of these convictions -- 63 percent -- were for offenses that were not judged serious enough to warrant significant prison time.

The comparisons of the number of defendants convicted are based on case-by-case information obtained by TRAC under the Freedom of Information Act from the Executive Office for United States Attorneys.

Immigration offenses accounted for over half of all federal criminal convictions, but six out of seven of these were for relatively minor offenses resulting in sentences of less than one year. Drug-related offenses comprised only 18 percent of federal convictions, but represented slightly more than one third of all sentences of a year or more.

Among agencies, a majority of convictions owing to investigations by the FBI, DEA and ATF resulted in prison terms of one year or more. Convictions for crimes investigated by DHS and the DoD mostly resulted in sentences of less than one year.

For more details by program category and lead investigative agency, see the report at:
In addition to this report on convictions, TRAC continues to offer free monthly reports on selected government agencies such as the IRS, FBI, ATF and DHS. TRAC's reports also monitor program categories such as immigration, drugs, weapons, white collar crime and terrorism. For the latest information on prosecutions and convictions through March 2015, go to:
Even more detailed criminal enforcement information for the period from FY 1986 through March 2015 is available to TRACFed subscribers via the Express and Going Deeper tools. Go to for more information. Customized reports for a specific agency, district, program, lead charge or judge are available via the TRAC Data Interpreter, either as part of a TRACFed subscription or on a per-report basis. Go to to start.

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