ICPSR Summer Workshop on Sentencing and Other Federal Case Data Analysis

In partnership with the U.S. Sentencing Commission and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice conducted a four-day workshop on sentencing and other Federal case data analysis. The purpose was to promote Federal court research by improving understanding of case processing, familiarity with data compiled by BJS' Federal Justice Statistics Program, and knowledge of multi-level and multi-stage statistical techniques.

2009 Workshop Information


  • Brian Johnson, University of Maryland
  • Mark Motivans, Bureau of Justice Statistics
  • Louis Reedt, United States Sentencing Commission
  • Courtney Semisch, United States Sentencing Commission
  • Jennifer Dukes, United States Sentencing Commission

Reading List

Adams, W.P. & Motivans, M. (2003, Oct). Using data from the Federal Justice Statistics Program. Federal Sentencing Reporter, 16(1).

Albonetti, C.A. (1997). Sentencing under the Federal sentencing guidelines: Effects of defendant characteristics, guilty pleas, and departures on sentence outcomes for drug offenses, 1991–1992. Law & Society Review, 31: 789–822.

Anderson, J., Kling, J.R. & Stith, K. (1999). Measuring inter-judge disparity: Before and after the Federal sentencing guidelines. Journal of Law and Economics, 42: 271-307.

Bushway, S. Piehl, A.M. (2001). Judging judicial discretion: Legal factors and racial discrimination in sentencing. Law and Society Review, 34.

Engen, R.L. and Gainey, R.R. (2000). Modeling the effects of legally relevant and extralegal factors under the sentencing guidelines: The rules have changed. Criminology, 38(4): 1207-1229.

Everett, R.S. & Nienstedt, B.C. (1999). Race, remorse, and sentence reduction: Is saying you're sorry enough? Justice Quarterly, 16: 99–122.

Everett, R.S. & Wojtkiewicz, R. (2002). Difference, disparity, and race/ethnic bias in Federal sentencing. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 18: 189–211.

Frase, R. (2007). The Apprendi-Blakely cases: Sentencing reform counter-revolution? Criminology & Public Policy, 6: 403–32.

Hartley, R., Maddan, S. & Spohn, C. (2007). Prosecutorial discretion: An examination of substantial assistance departures in Federal crack-cocaine and powder cocaine cases. Justice Quarterly, 24: 382–407.

Hofer, P.J. (2007). United States v. Booker as a natural experiment: Using empirical research to inform the Federal sentencing policy debate. Criminology & Public Policy, 6: 433–60.

Johnson, B.D. & Betsinger, S. (forthcoming). Punishing the model minority: Asian American criminal sentencing outcomes in Federal district courts. Criminology.

Johnson, B.D., Ulmer, J.T., & Kramer, J.H. (2008). The Social Context of Guidelines Circumvention: The Case of Federal District Courts. Criminology, 46(3): 737-783. (PDF 203K)

Lacasse, C. & Payne, A.A. (1999). Federal sentencing guidelines and mandatory minimum sentences: Do defendants bargain in the shadow of the judge? Journal of Law and Economics, 42: 245–69.

Mustard, D. (2001). Racial, ethnic, and gender disparities in sentencing: Evidence from the U.S. Federal courts. Journal of Law and Economics, 44: 285–314.

O'Neill Shermer, L. & Johnson, B.D. (forthcoming). Criminal prosecutions: Examining prosecutorial discretion and charging decisions in U.S. Federal district courts. Justice Quarterly. (PDF 2.3M)

Steffensmeier, D. & Demuth, S. (2000). Ethnicity and sentencing outcomes in US federal courts: Who is punished more harshly? American Sociological Review 65: 705–29. (PDF 3.5M)

Stith, K. & Cabranes, J. (1998). Fear of Judging. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Tonry, M.H. (1996). Sentencing Matters. New York: Oxford University Press.

U.S. Sentencing Commission. (2003). Downward Departures from the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Washington, DC: United States Sentencing Commission.

U.S. Sentencing Commission. (2004). Fifteen Years of Guidelines Sentencing: An Assessment of How Well the Federal Criminal Justice System is Achieving the Goals of Sentencing Reform. Washington, DC: United States Sentencing Commission.

U.S. Sentencing Commission. (2006). Final Report on the Impact of United States v. Booker on Federal Sentencing. Washington, DC: United States Sentencing Commission.

U.S. Sentencing Commission. 2007 Federal Sentencing Guideline Manual. Washington, DC: United States Sentencing Commission.

U.S. Sentencing Commission. Report to the Congress: Cocaine and Federal Sentencing Policy, May 2007. Washington, DC: United States Sentencing Commission. (PDF)

U.S. Sentencing Commission. 2008 Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics. Washington, DC: United States Sentencing Commission.

U.S. Sentencing Commission. Preliminary Crack Cocaine Retroactivity Data Report. Washington, DC: United States Sentencing Commission. (PDF)

Workshop Materials

Data and Codebooks

The workshop exercises were based on Monitoring of Federal Criminal Sentences, 2007 (ICPSR 22623)

(Note: authentication using a Google, Facebook, or ICPSR MyData account is needed to access the data and codebook)

Agency Resources