Federal Criminal Case Processing Statistics
arrow pointing down and to right Data available from the FJSP

Through its grantee, Abt Associates, BJS receives data extracts annually from each agency's case management system. The data extracts are used to create one or more standard analysis files (SAFs). These SAF data files represent annual cohorts of defendant-cases processed by a single agency within the federal criminal justice system. Each SAF is one of three types of cohort—incoming defendant— cases, outgoing (or terminating) defendant-cases, and defendant-cases pending at the end of the fiscal year. The universe of each SAF spans one federal fiscal year, October 1 through September 30.

The defendant-case, which is the standard unit of observation in all SAFs, is a combination of a defendant, which may be either a person or a corporation, and a matter or case. For example, if a single defendant is involved in three different criminal cases during a specified fiscal year, he or she appears three times (i.e., as three records) in a SAF. Similarly, if a single criminal case involves five defendants—for example, a corporation and four persons—that case appears five times (i.e., as five records) in a SAF. The unit of observation for incarceration or community supervision—probation, parole, or supervised release—is an offender entering custody or supervision (in an incoming cohort) or an offender leaving custody or supervision (in a terminating cohort). For example, an offender convicted in two concurrent cases and committed once to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) in a specified fiscal year appears in the SAF as one admission to a term of incarceration (i.e., as one record in the incoming BOP SAF). An offender who terminates probation twice in a fiscal year, such as with a violation and again after reinstatement, appears as two terminations of probation.

The source data provided to BJS are processed by the Federal Justice Statistics Program (FJSP). The processing creates recoded variables suitable for analysis, establishes offense categories that are common across SAFs, and removes information that could identify any individual defendant. The FJSP also maintains a linking file that allows records to be joined together across processing stages and over time so that individual defendant-cases may be followed through the federal criminal justice system. The processed SAFs and the linking file are archived at ICPSR and made available on a restricted-use basis. For fiscal years 1978–1994, the SAFs are archived at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data as ICPSR Study Number 9296. The earliest fiscal year included in the linking file is 1994. BJS uses the SAFs to prepare publications that describe various aspects of federal criminal case processing.

The following table summarizes the data available from the FJSP.

Fiscal years by website component
Stage Provider Cohort Online Analysis U.S. Criminal Code Data Archive
Arrest U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) Arrests 1998-2020 n/a 1994-2018
    Warrants Initiated n/a n/a n/a
    Warrants Cleared n/a n/a n/a
  Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Arrests n/a n/a 1994-2018
Prosecution Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA) Incoming Matters 1998-2020 n/a 1994-2018
    Terminated Matters 1998-2020 n/a 1994-2018
    Incoming Cases n/a n/a 1994-2018
    Charges in Incoming Cases n/a n/a 1994-2018
    Terminated Cases n/a n/a 1994-2018
    Charges in Terminated Cases n/a n/a 1994-2018
Pretrial release U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services System Beginning Pretrial Supervision n/a n/a n/a
    Under Pretrial Supervision n/a n/a n/a
    Ending Pretrial Supervision n/a n/a n/a
Adjudication Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AOUSC) Filed Cases 1998-2020 1994-2020 1994-2018
    Pending Cases n/a 1994-2020 1994-2018
    Terminated Cases 1998-2020 1994-2020 1994-2018
Sentencing U.S. Sentencing Commission (USSC) Terminated Cases 1998-2020 n/a 1994-2018
Appeals AOUSC, U.S. Courts of Appeals Filed Cases n/a n/a 1994-2018
    Terminated Cases n/a n/a 1994-2018
Corrections Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Prison Entries 1998-2020 n/a 1994-2018
    Persons in Prison 1998-2020 n/a 1994-2018
    Prison Releases 1998-2020 n/a 1994-2018
  U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services System Beginning Supervision n/a n/a n/a
    Cases Under Supervision n/a n/a n/a
    Ending Supervision n/a n/a n/a

Learn more:

Federal Justice Statistics Program (FJSP)
Data available from the FJSP
Overview of Federal Criminal Case Processing

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