About the Federal Justice Statistics Program
The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) provides comprehensive information on suspects and defendants processed in the federal criminal justice system. Federal agencies provide extracts from their case management systems, which cover various stages of criminal case processing:
- Arrest - Covers the arrest of a suspect by a federal law enforcement agency.
- Prosecution - Covers the investigation of criminal matters.
- Adjudication - Covers the criminal court proceedings through case disposition.
- Sentencing - Covers sentences imposed on convicted defendants.
- Appeals - Covers cases filed and terminated on appeals.
- Corrections - Covers offenders in prison.
The Abt Associates, with sponsorship from BJS, uses these extracts to create Standard Analysis Files (SAFs) for each agency. These SAF data files represent annual cohorts of defendant-cases processed by a single agency within the federal criminal justice system.
BJS sponsors both Abt Associates and the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD). Abt Associates processes the source data and creates recoded variables suitable for analysis, establishes offense categories that are common across SAFs, and removes information that could identify any individual defendant. The defendant-case, which is the standard unit of observation in all SAFs, is a combination of a defendant, which may be either a person or a corporation, and a matter or case. For example, if a single defendant is involved in three different criminal cases during a specified fiscal year, that individual appears three times (i.e., as three records) in a SAF. Similarly, if a single case involves five defendants, that case appears five times (i.e., as five records) in a SAF. Each SAF is one of three types of cohorts - incoming defendant-cases, outgoing (or "terminating") defendant-cases, and defendant-cases pending at the end of the fiscal year. The universe of each SAF spans one federal fiscal year, October 1 through September 30. NACJD archives and distributes the SAFs.
Federal Justice Statistics Program Agencies and Data
Five federal criminal justice agencies contribute data to the Federal Justice Statistics Program. These agencies and the SAFs associated with them are listed below.
United States Marshals Service (USMS)
The Prisoner Tracking System contains data on all suspects who were arrested for federal offenses and booked by the USMS.
Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA)
The Central System File contains information on the investigation and prosecution of suspects in criminal matters received and concluded by US Attorneys, while the Central Charge File contains information on criminal cases filed and terminated by US Attorneys.
Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AOUSC)
The Criminal Master File contains information about the criminal proceedings against defendants whose cases were filed in US district courts. This file includes information on cases involving felonies, Class A misdemeanors, and lesser misdemeanors that were handled by US district judges. The information in the data file covers criminal proceedings from case filing through disposition and sentencing. The AOUSC Courts of Appeals file contains docket information on criminal appeals filed and terminated in the US courts of appeals. Records of appeals filed, pending, or terminated include information on the nature of the criminal appeal, the underlying offense, and the disposition of the appeal.
United States Sentencing Commission (USSC)
The Monitoring Data Base contains information on criminal defenders sentenced pursuant to the provisions of the Sentencing Reform Act (SRA) of 1984 whose records have been obtained by the USSC.
Bureau of Prisons (BOP)
This data file contains information on all sentenced offenders admitted into, or released from, federal prison during a fiscal year, as well as offenders in federal prison at the end of each fiscal year.
Paired-Agency Linked Files
The paired-agency linked files contain matched-agency pairs (or "dyads"), which permit the linking of records from two different source agencies for adjacent stages of federal case processing.
Federal Justice Statistics Program: Paired-Agency Linked Files
Years available: Cumulative 1994-2009 2010 2012
Questions regarding the Federal Justice Statistics Program should be directed to the Bureau of Justice Statistics: firstname.lastname@example.org