|(27 Jul 2017)
Despite widespread concern about an epidemic of opioid abuse, and announcements by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and others of stepped up efforts by the Trump administration to address it, federal criminal prosecutions for drug offenses have dropped to historic lows.
The latest data, current through June 2017, show that fewer drug offenders were federally prosecuted over the past 12 months than at any time during the last quarter century.
During the first five months of the Trump administration (February - June 2017), there were only 8,814 drug offenders federally prosecuted, as compared with 9,687 federal criminal cases prosecuted during February - June 2016. According to the case-by-case records analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, drug prosecutions in U.S. district courts are down 27.6 percent from levels reported just five years ago.
So far this fiscal year, the Southern District of California (San Diego) had the highest number of drug offenders prosecuted relative to its population size. South Dakota, the Southern District of West Virginia (Charleston) and Vermont now rank among the top ten federal judicial districts on this same criteria -- a marked change from ten years ago when not one of these three were in the top ranks.
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In addition to these most recent overall figures, TRAC continues to offer free monthly reports on selected government agencies such as the FBI, ATF, DHS and the IRS. 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 June 2017, go to:
Even more detailed criminal enforcement information for the period from FY 1986 through June 2017 is available to TRACFed subscribers via the Express and Going Deeper tools. Go to http://tracfed.syr.edu 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 http://trac.syr.edu/interpreter to start.
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