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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 147721 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Corporate Author: US Dept of Justice
United States of America
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 107
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Survey
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Information from the computerized records used by the United States Sentencing Commission and the Bureau of Prisons was studied to determine the characteristics and sentencing of drug offenders.
Abstract: The analysis considered the offenders' criminal histories, violence in the current offense, nature of the current offense, and sentencing. Results revealed that a substantial number of Federal inmates can be classified as low-level in that they have no prior criminal history, committed an offense that did not involve sophisticated criminal activity, and did not use violence in the offense. Drug offenders with no criminal history amounted to 28.2 percent of all drug offenders in the prison system and 16.6 percent of all sentenced prisoners. The average sentence of the low-level drug offender was 81.5 months; under guideline sentencing, these will serve an average of more than 5 years before release. Two-thirds of the sample received mandatory minimum sentences. Forty-two percent were couriers or played peripheral roles in drug trafficking. The most significant determinant of the sentence was drug quantity; the defendant's role in the offense had only a small influence on the length of the eventual sentence. Findings also confirmed that Federal drug offenders, including those with minor or no past criminal behavior, are receiving much longer sentences than they were before the 1986 Anti-Drug Abuse Act. Tables
Main Term(s): Drug offender profiles
Index Term(s): Federal drug laws; Federal prisoners; Sentencing factors
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