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Monitoring of Federal Criminal Sentences, 1987-1998

Resource Type
Dataset : event/transaction data
  • United States Sentencing Commission
Other Title
  • Version 4 (Subtitle)
Collective Title
  • Monitoring of Federal Criminal Sentences Series
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics
Free Keywords
convictions (law); criminal histories; defendants; federal courts; judicial decisions; offenses; sentencing; sentencing guidelines
  • Abstract

    This collection contains information on federal criminal cases sentenced under the Sentencing Guidelines and Policy Statements of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984. The data files include all cases received by the United States Sentencing Commission that had sentencing dates between November 1, 1987, and September 30, 1998, and were assessed as constitutional. Constitutionality compares each case's sentencing date, circuit, district, and judge to provide uniformity in reporting the cases. The cases are categorized either as New Law, with all offenses occurring after the November 1, 1987, guidelines, or as Mixed Law, with at least one count occurring after the guideline effectiveness date and other counts prior to the guidelines. The Cross-Reference Data files contain data for guidelines that are cross-referenced or that are considered to be underlying guidelines.
  • Methods

    ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection: Performed consistency checks.; Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes..
  • Table of Contents


    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: 1987-1988 Data
    • DS2: 1989 Data
    • DS3: 1989-1990 Data
    • DS4: 1990-1991 Data
    • DS5: 1991-1992 Data
    • DS6: 1992-1993 Data
    • DS7: 1993-1994 Data
    • DS8: 1994-1995 Data
    • DS9: 1994-1995 Cross-Reference Data
    • DS10: 1995-1996 Data
    • DS11: 1995-1996 Cross-Reference Data
    • DS12: 1996-1997 Cross-Reference Data
    • DS13: 1997-1998 Cross-Reference Data
Temporal Coverage
  • 1987 / 1998
    Time period: 1987--1998
  • 1987 / 1998
    Collection date: 1987--1998
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
All federal criminal court cases entering the court system between 1987 and 1998. Smallest Geographic Unit: United States
Collection Mode
  • There are undocumented codes and blanks present in the data.

    Users should note that Part 2, 1989 Data, contains data for calendar year 1989 only, whereas the other data files are fiscal-year datasets.

    Cross-reference data are provided beginning with the 1994-1995 fiscal year.

    The cross-reference files for the years 1996-1997 and 1997-1998 (Parts 12 and 13) contain substantially more variables than in previous years.

2014-06-25 All parts are being moved from restricted access to public access.2012-03-21 All parts are being moved to restricted access and will be available only using the restricted access procedures. Setup files have been added for 1989 Data (Part 2), 1989-1990 Data (Part 3), and 1990-1991 Data (Part 4). Codebooks have been created for 1989 Data (Part 2), 1994-1995 Cross-Reference Data (Part 9), and 1995-1996 Cross-Reference Data (Part 11).2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.2000-02-21 Parts 12 and 13, cross-reference files for 1997 and 1998, have been added to the collection, along with corresponding SAS and SPSS data definition statements and PDF codebooks.1999-03-25 SAS and SPSS data definition statements for Part 1, 1987-1988 Data, and the PDF codebooks for all years that were announced in June 1998 are now available. In addition, the parts have been renumbered, and the codebook and SAS data definition statement files are no longer listed in the template.1998-06-30 Data for the 1995-1996 fiscal year (Part 14) and a cross-reference file (Part 15) have been added, along with a corresponding PDF codebook. Also, SAS and SPSS data definition statements for Part 1, 1987-1988 Data, have been added, and the codebooks for all years are now available as PDF files. Funding insitution(s): United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics.
This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 9317 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR09317.v5
  • Is new version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR09317.v3
  • Nutting, Andrew W.. Squealer dealers: The market for information in federal drug trafficking prosecutions. Economic Inquiry.53, (1), 486-507.2015.
    • ID: 10.1111/ecin.12123 (DOI)
  • Light, Michael T., Massoglia, Michael, King, Ryan D.. Citizenship and punishment: The salience of national membership in U.S. criminal courts. American Sociological Review.79, (5), 825-847.2014.
    • ID: 10.1177/0003122414543659 (DOI)
  • Bush-Baskette, Stephanie R., Smith, Vivian C.. Is meth the new crack for women in the war on drugs? Factors affecting sentencing outcomes for women and parallels between meth and crack. Feminist Criminology.7, (1), 48-69.2012.
    • ID: 10.1177/1557085111420556 (DOI)
  • Fischman, Joshua B., Schanzenbach, Max M.. Racial disparities under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines: The role of judicial discretion and mandatory minimums. Journal of Empirical Legal Studies.99, (4), 729-764.2012.
  • Albonetti, Celesta A., Baller, Robert D.. Sentencing in federal drug trafficking/manufacturing cases: A multilevel analysis of extra-legal defendant characteristics, guidelines departures, and continuity of culture. Journal of Gender, Race and Justice.14, (1), 41-71.2010.
  • Greenup, Katherine M.. Punishing White-Collar Crime: An Examination of Judicial Sentencing Practices in Federal Fraud and Embezzlement Cases. Thesis, The University of Texas at San Antonio. 2010.
  • Clark, James D.. International Defendants in Federal Criminal Court: An Examination of Racial, Ethnic, and Citizenship Status Disparity in Sentencing Outcomes. Dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin. 2009.
  • Iles, Gale. The effects of race/ethnicity and national origin on length of sentence in the United States Virgin Islands. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.623, (1), 64-76.2009.
    • ID: 10.1177/0002716208330705 (DOI)
  • Hartley, Richard D.. Sentencing reforms and the War on Drugs: An analysis of sentence outcomes for narcotics offenders adjudicated in U. S. District Courts on the Southwest border. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice.24, (4), 437-461.2008.
    • ID: 10.1177/1043986208323264 (DOI)
  • Miethe, Terance D., Hart, Timothy C., Regoeczi, Wendy C.. The conjunctive analysis of case configurations: An exploratory method for discrete multivariate analyses of crime data. Journal of Quantitative Criminology.24, (2), 227-241.2008.
    • ID: 10.1007/s10940-008-9044-8 (DOI)
  • Hartley, Richard D., Maddan, Sean, Spohn, Cassia C.. Prosecutorial discretion: An examination of substantial assistance departures in federal crack-cocaine and powder-cocaine cases. Justice Quarterly.24, (3), 382-407.2007.
    • ID: 10.1080/07418820701485379 (DOI)
  • Iles, Gayle D.. America's Forgotten Paradise: An Assessment of Sentencing Decisions and Outcomes in the United States Virgin Islands. Dissertation, University of Nebraska. 2006.
  • Kautt, Paula M., Delone, Miriam A.. Sentencing outcomes under competing but coexisting sentencing interventions: Untying the Gordian Knot. Criminal Justice Review.31, (2), 105-131.2006.
    • ID: 10.1177/0734016806290138 (DOI)
  • Stacey, Ann Martin, Spohn, Cassia. Gender and the social costs of sentencing: An analysis of sentences imposed on male and female. Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law.11, 43-76.2006.
  • Schanzenbach, Max. Racial and Sex Disparities in Prison Sentences: The Effect of District-level Judicial Demographics. Journal of Legal Studies.34, (1), 57-92.2005.
    • ID: 10.1086/425597 (DOI)
  • Gillespie, William Lee. Constrained Justice: Investigating the Influence of the U.S. Courts of Appeals on District Court Sentencing Behavior. Dissertation, University of Georgia. 2004.
  • Albonetti, Celesta A.. The effects of the safety valve amendment on length of imprisonment for cocaine trafficking/manufacturing offenders: Mitigating the effects of mandatory minimum penalties and offender's ethnicity. Iowa Law Review.87, (2), 401-433.2002.
  • Albonetti, Celesta A.. The joint conditioning effect of defendant's gender and ethnicity on length of imprisonment under the federal sentencing guidelines for drug trafficking/manufacturing offenders. Journal of Gender, Race and Justice.6, (1), 39-60.2002.
  • Bowman, Frank O., III, Heise, Michael. Quiet rebellion II: An empirical analysis of declining Federal drug sentences including data from the District level. Iowa Law Review.87, 477-561.2002.
  • Cory, Leslie A.. Looking at the federal sentencing process one judge at a time, one probation officer at a time. Emory Law Journal.51, (1), 379-447.2002.
  • Demuth, Stephen. The effect of citizenship status on sentencing outcomes in drug cases. Federal Sentencing Reporter.14, (5), 271-275.2002.
    • ID: 10.1525/fsr.2002.14.5.271 (DOI)
  • Everett, Ronald S., Wojtkiewicz, Roger A.. Difference, disparity, and race/ethnic bias in federal sentencing. Journal of Quantitative Criminology.18, (2), 189-211.2002.
    • ID: 10.1023/A:1015258732676 (DOI)
  • Kautt, Paula, Spohn, Cassia. Crack-ing down on black drug offenders? Testing for interactions among offenders' race, drug type, and sentencing strategy in Federal drug sentences. Justice Quarterly.19, (1), 1-35.2002.
    • ID: 10.1080/07418820200095151 (DOI)
  • Pasko, Lisa. Villain or victim: Regional variation and ethnic disparity in federal drug offense sentencing. Criminal Justice Policy Review.13, (4), 307-328.2002.
    • ID: 10.1177/088740302237801 (DOI)
  • Bowman, Frank O., III, Heise, Michael. Quiet rebellion? Explaining nearly a decade of declining federal drug sentences. Iowa Law Review.86, (4), 1043-1136.2001.
  • Kautt, Paula M.. Separating and Estimating the Effects of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and the Federal Mandatory 'Minimums': Isolating the Sources of Racial Disparity. Dissertation, University of Nebraska. 2000.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Robison Semisch, Courtney. Differential Sentencing Outcomes for Female Federal Drug Traffickers: Gender Disparity or Suitable Sanctions?. Dissertation, Pennsylvania State University. 2000.
  • Steffensmeier, Darrell, Demuth, Stephen. Ethnicity and sentencing outcomes in U.S. federal courts: Who is punished more harshly?. American Sociological Review.65, (5), 705-729.2000.
  • Alexander, Cindy R., Arlen, Jennifer, Cohen, Mark A.. Regulating corporate criminal sanctions: Federal guidelines and the sentencing of public firms. Journal of Law and Economics.42, (S1), 393-422.1999.
    • ID: 10.1086/467430 (DOI)
  • Gossweiler, Robert Scott. Court Disparity and Discretionary Practices in Drug-Related Cases Under United States Sentencing Guidelines. Dissertation, University of Delaware. 1999.
  • Albonetti, Celesta A.. The role of gender and departures in the sentencing of defendants convicted of a white-collar offense under the federal sentencing guidelines. Sociology of Crime, Law, and Deviance.Greenwich, CT: Jai Press Inc.. 1998.
  • Meade, Jose, Waldfogel, Joel. Do Sentencing Guidelines Raise the Cost of Punishment?. NBER Working Paper Series.6361, Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research. 1998.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Albonetti, Celesta A.. Sentencing under the Federal Sentencing guidelines: Effects of defendant characteristics, guilty pleas, and departures on sentence outcomes for drug offenses, 1991-1992. Law and Society Review.31, (4), 789-822.1997.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Hebert, Christopher G.. Sentencing outcomes of Black, Hispanic, and White males convicted under federal sentencing guidelines. Criminal Justice Review.22, (2), 133-156.1997.
    • ID: 10.1177/073401689702200202 (DOI)
  • Wolf, Elaine, Weissman, Marsha. Revising federal sentencing policy: Some consequences of expanding eligibility for alternative sanctions. Crime and Delinquency.42, (2), 192 -1996.
    • ID: 10.1177/0011128796042002002 (DOI)
  • Waldfogel, Joel. Aggregate inter-judge disparity in federal sentencing: Evidence from three districts (D.Ct., S.D.N.Y., N.D.Cal.). Federal Sentencing Reporter.4, (3), 151-154.1991.

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 3 | Registration Date: 2015-06-30

United States Sentencing Commission (1990): Monitoring of Federal Criminal Sentences, 1987-1998. Version 4. Monitoring of Federal Criminal Sentences Series. Version: v4. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.