During 1995, more than 102,000 suspects were investigated by U.S. attorneys for possible violations of the U.S. Code, and criminal charges were filed in U.S. district courts or before a U.S. magistrate against about 64,000 defendants, one-third of whom were prosecuted for drug offenses.
Most of the 56,480 defendants whose cases were terminated in U.S. district courts during 1995 were convicted. Among those convicted, 67 percent were sentenced to prison for an average of 61 months. At the end of 1995, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) held more than 88,650 prisoners who had been convicted of a Federal offense, an increase of 6 percent over 1994. About 60 percent of those held by the BOP were convicted and sentenced for drug offenses. During 1995, U.S. attorneys initiated criminal investigations of 102,220 suspects and concluded investigations of 102,309 suspects. Of suspects investigated, slightly more than 31 percent were investigated for each of property, drug, and public order offenses, while the remaining 6 percent were investigated for violent offenses. Suspects in criminal matters involving drug or violent offenses were slightly more likely to be prosecuted in U.S. district courts than suspects involved in public order or property offenses. About 58 percent of 45,635 defendants who terminated pretrial services were released at some time prior to their criminal trial. Defendants charged with property offenses such as embezzlement, fraud, and forgery and those charged with regulatory public order offenses or tax law violations were more likely to be released prior to trial than defendants charged with violent offenses, drug trafficking, weapons offenses, or immigration offenses. Of defendants released prior to trial, about 85 percent completed their release periods without violating their release conditions. Criminal charges were filed in U.S. district courts against 63,547 defendants during 1995, about 80 percent of whom were charged with felonies. Of defendants charged with felonies, 40 percent were prosecuted for drug trafficking, 27 percent for property offenses, 25 percent for public order offenses, and 6 percent for violent offenses; 87 percent of defendants charged with felonies were convicted. Of 47,556 offenders sentenced during 1995, about 67 percent were incarcerated, another 27 percent were placed on probation, and 7 percent were ordered to pay a fine. The U.S. Court of Appeals received 10,162 criminal appeals, with 44 percent challenging both the conviction and the sentence imposed. A total of 18,144 offenders were serving probation supervision terms that terminated during 1995, and 84 percent of offenders successfully completed their probation terms. At the end of 1995, 85,662 offenders were under probation supervision. The Federal prison population increased by 4,787 offenders during 1995 to reach 88,658 persons in prison. Drug offenders, who comprised about 40 percent of persons in Federal prisons, comprised the largest percentage of persons in Federal prisons (60 percent) at the end of 1995. 3 tables and 1 figures
Date Published: March 1, 1998