BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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Prosecution
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Federal criminal cases may be brought by the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, or other authorized law enforcement agencies, such as the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS). The 93 U.S. attorneys serve as the chief federal law enforcement officers within their respective districts. Investigations are most commonly referred to a U.S. attorney by a federal investigative agency, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and U.S. Secret Service. Investigations are also referred by a state or local investigative agency. Investigations may also be initiated—and cases brought directly—by U.S. attorneys or by the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

After criminal investigations are initiated and criminal suspects are referred to them, U.S. attorneys may file charges against defendants in a U.S. district court, or they may file cases before U.S. magistrates, who have the authority to adjudicate misdemeanor offenses (18 U.S.C. § 3401). Due to the relatively less serious nature of misdemeanor cases, and because they are handled by magistrates, the U.S. attorneys count these cases as criminal matters disposed by U.S. magistrates. The decision to prosecute a suspect in a criminal matter depends on many factors, including the Attorney General's priorities, U.S. attorney priorities and resources, laws governing each type of offense, and the strength of evidence in each case.

Publications & Products


Federal Justice Statistics, 2017-2018 This report is the 32nd in an annual series based on data from BJS's Federal Justice Statistics Program, which began in 1979.
  Summary (PDF 180K) | Full report (PDF 1.5M) | Data tables (Zip format 24K)
Part of the Federal Justice Statistics Series

Human Trafficking Data-Collection Activities, 2020 This report describes BJS's activities during 2019 and 2020 to collect data and report on human trafficking as required by the Combat Human Trafficking Act of 2015 (34 U.S.C. ยง 20709(e)(2)(B)).
  Full report (PDF 340K) | Data tables (Zip format 2K)

Federal Justice Statistics, 2015 - Statistical Tables This report is based on data from BJS's Federal Justice Statistics Program, which began in 1979. It provides national statistics on the federal response to crime for fiscal year 2015.
  Full report (PDF 1.8M) | Data tables (Zip format 56K)
Part of the Federal Justice Statistics Series

Federal Justice Statistics, 2016 - Statistical Tables This report is based on data from BJS's Federal Justice Statistics Program, which began in 1979. It provides national statistics on the federal response to crime for fiscal year 2016.
  Full report (PDF 1.8M) | Data tables (Zip format 56K)
Part of the Federal Justice Statistics Series

Federal Justice Statistics, 2015-2016 Describes the annual activity, workloads, and outcomes of the federal criminal justice system from arrest to imprisonment.
  Summary (PDF 195K) | Full report (PDF 1.21M) | Data tables (Zip format 21K)
Part of the Federal Justice Statistics Series

Federal Prosecution of Human-Trafficking Cases, 2015 Presents national data on human-trafficking cases in the federal criminal justice system. Human-trafficking offenses include peonage, slavery, forced labor, or sex trafficking; production of child pornography; and transportation for illegal sex activity.
  Press Release (202K) | Summary (PDF 217K) | Full report (PDF 1M) | Data tables (Zip format 17K)
Part of the Characteristics of Suspected Human-Trafficking Incidents Series

Federal Prosecution of Human-Trafficking Cases, 2015 - Press release FEDERAL HUMAN-TRAFFICKING PROSECUTIONS INCREASED MORE THAN 40 PERCENT FROM 2011 TO 2015
  Press Release (202K)
Part of the Characteristics of Suspected Human-Trafficking Incidents Series

Federal Justice Statistics, 2014 - Statistical Tables Describes the annual activity, workloads, and outcomes of 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 Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).
  Full report (PDF 3.9M) | ASCII file (87K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 50K)
Part of the Federal Justice Statistics Series

Federal Justice Statistics, 2013-2014 Describes the annual activity, workloads, and outcomes of the federal criminal justice system from arrest to imprisonment, using data from 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).
  Summary (PDF 250K) | Full report (PDF 3.93M) | ASCII file (85K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 57K)
Part of the Federal Justice Statistics Series

Federal Justice Statistics, 2013 - Statistical Tables 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 Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).
  Full report (PDF 3.2M) | ASCII file (87K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 55K)
Part of the Federal Justice Statistics Series