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Sentences and Fines for Organized Crime Figures and Major Drug Traffickers

NCJ Number
Date Published
30 pages
The U.S. General Accounting Office examined sentencing and parole decisions for organized crime figures and major drug traffickers, and compared the actual penalties imposed with the maximum penalties authorized by statute.
Of 1,044 organized crime figures and/or drug traffickers sentenced in 37 judicial districts between January 1982 and June 1983, 3 percent were placed on probation, 58 percent received prison sentences of 10 years or less, 38 percent received prison sentences exceeding 10 years but less than life, and 1 percent received life sentences. The median maximum sentence for this sample was 180 months, but the median sentence imposed by the courts was only 120 months. The courts imposed criminal fines totaling $17.5 million for 383 of the 1,044 offenders; the actual median fine of $15,000 was substantially lower than the maximum median fine of $65,000 that could have been imposed. GAO determined that most of the offenders studied here benefited from good time rules that reduced the time they actually served in prison. 4 appendixes