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Continued Rise in the Rate of Offenders Sentenced to Federal Prisons
Thinking About Corrections


In a new report that captures how federal sentencing caseloads have changed over the last 17 years, the U.S. Sentencing Commission found the rate of offenders sentenced to federal prison time has increased while alternative sentencing (probation, probation with confinement) has declined. A partial reason for the drop in alternative sentences is that a significant number of offenders (37.4 percent) are non-citizens and mostly illegal foreign nationals. These individuals must be confined until they can be deported.

 Other Findings:

  • In fiscal year 2007, 81.1 percent of sentences imposed on citizens involved prison time, probation (8.4 percent), probation with confinement (5.8 percent), prison split with community confinement (4.7 percent);
  • For citizens, the average prison sentence was 76 months, offenders sentenced to a prison/community split received an average of 9 months, the average probation only sentence was 33 months, and offenders sentenced to probation with confinement was 39 months;
  • Offenders with higher levels of education are more likely than less educated offenders to receive an alternative sentence.



Posted Fri, Feb 13 2009 2:06 PM by Anonymous


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