The Source for Crime and Justice Data

Monitoring of Federal Criminal Sentences, 1987-1998 (ICPSR 9317)

Principal Investigator(s):


This collection contains information on federal criminal cases sentenced under the Sentencing Guidelines and Policy Statements of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984. The data files include all cases received by the United States Sentencing Commission that had sentencing dates between November 1, 1987, and September 30, 1998, and were assessed as constitutional. Constitutionality compares each case's sentencing date, circuit, district, and judge to provide uniformity in reporting the cases. The cases are categorized either as New Law, with all offenses occurring after the November 1, 1987, guidelines, or as Mixed Law, with at least one count occurring after the guideline effectiveness date and other counts prior to the guidelines. The Cross-Reference Data files contain data for guidelines that are cross-referenced or that are considered to be underlying guidelines.

Series: Monitoring of Federal Criminal Sentences Series

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.


WARNING: This study is over 150MB in size and may take several minutes to download on a typical internet connection.

DS1:  1987-1988 Data - Download All Files (1.7 MB)
DS2:  1989 Data - Download All Files (20.7 MB)
DS3:  1989-1990 Data - Download All Files (65 MB)
DS4:  1990-1991 Data - Download All Files (168.7 MB) large dataset
DS5:  1991-1992 Data - Download All Files (28.1 MB)
DS6:  1992-1993 Data - Download All Files (30.3 MB)
DS7:  1993-1994 Data - Download All Files (29.2 MB)
DS8:  1994-1995 Data - Download All Files (28.1 MB)
DS9:  1994-1995 Cross-Reference Data - Download All Files (15.5 MB)
DS10:  1995-1996 Data - Download All Files (32.3 MB)
DS11:  1995-1996 Cross-Reference Data - Download All Files (23.5 MB)
DS12:  1996-1997 Cross-Reference Data - Download All Files (93.5 MB)
DS13:  1997-1998 Cross-Reference Data - Download All Files (97.1 MB)

Study Description


United States Sentencing Commission. Monitoring of Federal Criminal Sentences, 1987-1998. ICPSR09317-v5. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2012-03-21.

Persistent URL:

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:   convictions (law), criminal histories, defendants, federal courts, judicial decisions, offenses, sentencing, sentencing guidelines

Smallest Geographic Unit:   United States

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1987--1998

Date of Collection:  

  • 1987--1998

Universe:   All federal criminal court cases entering the court system between 1987 and 1998.

Data Types:   event/transaction data

Data Collection Notes:

There are undocumented codes and blanks present in the data.

Users should note that Part 2, 1989 Data, contains data for calendar year 1989 only, whereas the other data files are fiscal-year datasets.

Cross-reference data are provided beginning with the 1994-1995 fiscal year.

The cross-reference files for the years 1996-1997 and 1997-1998 (Parts 12 and 13) contain substantially more variables than in previous years.


Data Source:

Federal Probation Sentence and Supervision Information System, presentence reports, judgments of conviction, statements of reasons, plea agreements, and guideline worksheets

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 consistency checks.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2014-06-25 All parts are being moved from restricted access to public access.
  • 2012-03-21

    All parts are being moved to restricted access and will be available only using the restricted access procedures.

    Setup files have been added for 1989 Data (Part 2), 1989-1990 Data (Part 3), and 1990-1991 Data (Part 4).

    Codebooks have been created for 1989 Data (Part 2), 1994-1995 Cross-Reference Data (Part 9), and 1995-1996 Cross-Reference Data (Part 11).

  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.
  • 2000-02-21 Parts 12 and 13, cross-reference files for 1997 and 1998, have been added to the collection, along with corresponding SAS and SPSS data definition statements and PDF codebooks.
  • 1999-03-25 SAS and SPSS data definition statements for Part 1, 1987-1988 Data, and the PDF codebooks for all years that were announced in June 1998 are now available. In addition, the parts have been renumbered, and the codebook and SAS data definition statement files are no longer listed in the template.
  • 1998-06-30 Data for the 1995-1996 fiscal year (Part 14) and a cross-reference file (Part 15) have been added, along with a corresponding PDF codebook. Also, SAS and SPSS data definition statements for Part 1, 1987-1988 Data, have been added, and the codebooks for all years are now available as PDF files.

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