United States Federal Mandatory Minimum Statutes Study, 1989-1990 (ICPSR 6009)

Principal Investigator(s): United States Sentencing Commission


In response to a Congressional directive, the United States Sentencing Commission completed this study of federal mandatory minimum statutes with an emphasis on the presence and/or applicability of statutes prior to conviction and sentencing. To collect this type of detailed information, it was necessary to examine actual offense behavior. To that end, the Commission selected for detailed review a 12.5-percent random sample of its FY90 database of 29,011 cases, focusing on controlled substance offenses and firearms violations. The screening process yielded 1,165 cases. For these defendants, information was recorded on real offense components, indictment history, mode of conviction, and convicted charges, as well as sentence imposed, plea agreements, stipulations, and guideline factors. This information allows for a procedural tracking of cases and the application of mandatory minimum provisions at various stages of the criminal justice process.

Access Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


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Study Description


U.S. Sentencing Commission. UNITED STATES FEDERAL MANDATORY MINIMUM STATUTES STUDY, 1989-1990. 2nd ICPSR version. Washington, DC: U.S. Sentencing Commission [producer], 1992. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2003. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06009.v2

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06009.v2

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    case processing, convictions (law), federal courts, offenses, pleas, sentencing

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1989--1990

Date of Collection:   

  • 1990--1991

Universe:    All federal criminal court cases during the period 1989-1990.

Data Type(s):    event/transaction data, and administrative records data

Data Collection Notes:

The codebook is provided by ICPSR as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided on the ICPSR Web site.


Sample:    Cases were chosen for inclusion in this collection based upon defendants whose cases indicated the appropriateness of a mandatory minimum penalty.

Data Source:

presentence reports completed by federal probation officers, forwarded to the Administrative Office of the United States courts, and the United States Sentencing Commission

Extent of Processing:   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 recodes and/or calculated derived variables.


Original ICPSR Release:   1993-05-13

Version History:

  • 2003-01-23 A new data file was created to change certain values to missing. SAS and SPSS data definition statements were created. The ASCII codebook was reformatted into a PDF document.



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