This report provides information on violations of federal probation and supervised release using data collected by the United States Sentencing Commission. For the first time, the Commission is reporting data collected from documents related to revocation hearings. Combined with data the Commission regularly collects, this report analyzes the characteristics of supervision violations and the outcomes of violation proceedings provided in documents sent to the Commission by the courts.
As part of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, which created the Commission and charged it with establishing the federal sentencing guidelines system, Congress prospectively eliminated federal parole and established different supervision options in federal sentencing. Among other things, the Act made probation a sentence in itself, whereas probation previously functioned as a stay of the imposition or execution of a sentence. In addition, the Act created a new form of post-imprisonment supervision: supervised release. As part of its overall work in response to the Act, the Commission addressed the new supervision options in the federal sentencing guidelines. Specifically, Chapter Five and Chapter Seven of the Guidelines Manual provide guidelines and policy statements for federal courts to address terms and conditions of probation and supervised release and violations of each type of supervision.