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Federal Probation and Supervised Release Violations Report by the United States Sentencing Commission July 2020

[ – 7/2020]

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.

Download a PDF of the full report from


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Ok, what am I missing, I’ve been through this entire thing, and very conspicuously missing is a category of sex offenses. Drugs, Firearms, immigration, fraud and administrative make up over 85% of those studied and we aren’t any of those. I imagine we are dispersed between felony categories A,B,and C, but still, why do all others have categories but not the most despicable, horrendous, awful offense of all? I can only surmise that the study proved conclusively that our recidivism rate is so low that it invalidates all the punitive oversight, and therefore the committee decided to obscure it in… Read more »

I haven’t read it yet, and figured registrant probationers would have been studied and was curious about the results. Was surprised by Eric’s post that it wasn’t.

I’ll read it later this week. I suspect Eric is right, I would hope Janice would take note and start an effort to get that kind of data and maybe get the thing republished or something. Burying study results regarding SO policy is nothing new. Perhaps more efforts should be made to uncover them. At the very least, hammer them for an explanation of why SO-specific probation was (supposedly) not evaluated.

The recidivism rate is low because Registries work.

@ Will…so then why would they not have registries for all the categories that have exorbitant re-offense rates like firearms, drug dealing, and immigration violations as listed. If that data is so clear and unequivocal as you seem to believe then what is the logical explanation for not putting such an incredibly effective deterrent in those categories with such atrocious rates? I guess they just haven’t thought of it yet, right? In fact if it works so well, let’s do it for DUI’s, shoplifting, and domestic violence. Heck we would be a crime free society in no time right? No,… Read more »

@Will Allen is being sarcastic, of course. But your question remains unanswered.

In the name of public safety, why are not all criminals required to register likewise? It being constitutional and not punishment. Are our elected officials not interested in overall public safety if it is so easily accomplished? That would shock me to my core….

You missed the point. The point was that if people write how you did, others will read it and say, “thanks for telling me that SEX Offense Registries work”. A person can never talk about recidivism rates without saying that SORs make them worse. It is a fact that SORs could work very well and yet there be no other Registries. So your response is not relevant to that. So what are the real world excuses that Registry Supporters/Terrorists have for not having Gun Offender Registries? Or a hundred others? These are some I’ve heard: 1. SEX offenses are special.… Read more »

@Joe (July 29, 2020): Yep, obviously the point of the SEX Offense Registries is not public safety, protecting children, or the rest of their pathetic lies. The point of the SORs is hate and to grow big government’s incarceration industry. Remember the original lie that started the war? That the SORs were needed just so people could be “informed”? That lie didn’t last very long, did it? Most people living in America are not capable of being “informed” and pretending like they have a brain. The scumbags just couldn’t leave their shiny new toy alone. So they immediately started piling… Read more »

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