Post-9/11 Slide in FBI Prosecutions Stabilizes under Obama
(12 Feb 2014) The number of criminal prosecutions referred each year by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has fallen by about one sixth -- 16.8 percent -- during the Obama administration when compared with the Bush years. However, such criminal cases began to slide after 9/11 as the FBI turned its attention to combating terrorism; levels during the Obama years are in line with what was seen in the later years of the Bush administration.

Under Obama, a larger proportion of FBI referrals are being accepted by federal prosecutors: 58.1 percent, compared with 51.7 percent under Bush. Convictions are drawing longer average prison terms -- 77 months under Obama versus 66 months under Bush. Meanwhile, the number of FBI fulltime agents has increased 13 percent, from an average of 11,990 under Bush to 13,596 under Obama.

Figures are based on case-by-case information obtained by TRAC from the Executive Office for United States Attorneys and the Office of Personnel Management under the Freedom of Information Act.

Among U.S. judicial districts, Washington D.C. had the highest per capita rate of FBI prosecutions in FY 2013 -- 376 prosecutions per million people, compared with 45.2 prosecutions per million nationally. This was followed by South Dakota with 206 per million, Montana with 185 per million and North Dakota with 177 per million.

For more details, including a timeline of prosecutions, top lead charges and top ten district rankings, see the report at:
In addition to this report on the FBI, TRAC continues to offer free monthly reports on selected government agencies such as the IRS, 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 December 2013, go to:
Even more detailed criminal enforcement information for the period from FY 1986 through December 2013 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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