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Publication Federal Justice Statistics, 2010

Mark A. Motivans, Ph.D., Bureau of Justice Statistics

December 30, 2013    NCJ 239913

Describes the annual activity, workloads, and outcomes associated with the federal criminal justice system from arrest to imprisonment, using data from the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA), Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AOUSC), and the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). Tables and text describe arrests and investigations by law enforcement agency and growth rates by type of offense and federal judicial district. This report examines trends in drug arrests by the DEA. It also provides the number of offenders returning to federal prison within three years of release and includes the most recently available data on sentences imposed and their lengths by type of offense.


  • Suspects arrested and booked for federal supervision violations increased 91%, from 12,716 arrests in 1994 to 24,344 arrests in 2010.
  • Five federal law enforcement agencies referred 77% of suspects prosecuted in U.S. district court in 2010.
  • In 2010, non-U.S. citizens comprised 47% of suspects charged in U.S. district court, 26% of offenders in federal prison, and 5% of offenders on post-conviction supervision.
  • Immigration was the most prevalent offense at arrest and investigation in 2010.
  • Drug offenses were the most prevalent offense among defendants sentenced to prison, in prison at yearend, and on supervised release in the community.
  • Ninety-one percent of felons charged in U.S. district court in 2010 were disposed by a guilty plea.
  • In 2010, immigration (88%), violent (86%), and drug trafficking (84%) offenders were more likely to be detained prior to case disposition.
  • At yearend 2010, over 400,000 federal offenders were under some form of correctional control.
  • Fourteen percent of the 59,391 offenders released from federal prison in 2008 returned to federal prison within three years of release.
  • Among those offenders who were released from federal prison in 2008 and returned within three years, 59% returned for a supervision violation and 39% returned for a new offense.

Part of the Federal Justice Statistics Series

Full report (PDF 4.3M)
ASCII file (67K)
Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 183K)

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