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Post-Conviction Supervision - Judicial Business 2013

A total of 131,869 persons were under post-conviction supervision on September 30, 2013, a decline of less than 1 percent from one year earlier (down 471 persons).

Persons serving terms of supervised release on that date following release from a correctional institution increased 1 percent to 109,379 and amounted to 83 percent of all persons under supervision.

Table 8 Federal Post-Conviction Supervision Fiscal Years 2009 - 2013
Year Persons Received Total Persons Received Total Less Transfers Persons Removed Total Persons Removed Total Less Transfers Persons Under Supervision on September 30
2009 60,890 57,059 56,600 52,602 124,194
2010 63,381 59,330 59,157 55,080 127,324
2011 64,227 59,984 60,775 56,569 129,780
2012 66,274 62,096 62,805 58,487 132,340
2013 62,940 58,844 62,463 58,345 131,869
Percent Change 2012 - 2013 -5.0 -5.2 -0.5 -0.2 -0.4

Cases opened in the 12-month period ending September 30, 2013, that involved probation imposed by district and magistrate judges fell 6 percent to 20,845 from the previous year and accounted for 16 percent of all persons under post-conviction supervision. The number of parole cases open at the end of 2013 dropped 13 percent from the previous year's total to 1,409 cases (parole is not available for persons sentenced for federal offenses committed on or after November 1, 1987).

Excluding transfers, the number of persons received for supervision during 2013 fell 5 percent to 58,844. The number of persons released from correctional institutions and received for supervised release dropped 5 percent to 47,869. For persons entering the system this year, probation cases decreased nearly 10 percent to 9,758, and parole cases (including cases involving special parole, military parole, and mandatory release) declined 22 percent to 357.

Forty-eight percent of persons under post-conviction supervision had been convicted of drug offenses, the same as in the previous year. Twenty-two percent had been convicted of property offenses, and 12 percent had been convicted of firearms offenses; both percentages were unchanged from 2012.

The number of post-conviction supervision cases closed (including those involving transfers out of districts and deaths) increased less than 1 percent to 60,356. The proportion of post-conviction cases terminated successfully grew from 70 percent to 72 percent. Of those cases closed successfully, 18 percent were closed by early termination, down from 19 percent the previous year.

Technical violations led to 63 percent of the 15,362 revocations of post-conviction supervision reported, up from 57 percent in 2012. New offenses accounted for the other 37 percent of revocations and for 10 percent of all 55,161 supervision cases terminated (excluding transfers out and deaths).

Comparing data for the last days of fiscal years 2009 and 2013 reveals that the number of persons under post-conviction supervision was 6 percent higher in 2013. Offenders convicted of drug offenses rose from 46 percent to 48 percent of persons under post-conviction supervision. Those convicted of property offenses remained unchanged at 22 percent of the total, and those convicted of firearms offenses increased from 11 percent to 12 percent of the total. Persons serving terms of supervised release following release from a correctional institution have climbed 10 percent over the past five years. In 2013, they represented 83 percent of all persons under supervision, up from 80 percent in 2009. These increases likely stemmed from earlier growth in criminal defendant filings.

For data on post-conviction supervision, see Table 8 and the E series of tables.

Risk Prediction Index

The Risk Prediction Index (RPI) is an eight-question prediction instrument used by federal probation officers to estimate the likelihood that an offender will be arrested or have supervision revoked during his or her term of supervision. RPI scores range from 0 to 9, with a low score representing a low risk of reoffending and a high score a higher risk of reoffending.

The average RPI score, which was 3.70 in 2011 and 2012, rose to 3.72 in 2013, reviving a growth trend that had spanned several years. The increased scores are associated with a federal supervision population that presents more criminogenic risk and a greater challenge to probation officers and the courts.

Fiscal Year  Average RPI Score
2009 3.53
2010 3.56
2011 3.70
2012 3.70
2013 3.72

Investigative Reports

The number of full presentence reports prepared by probation officers decreased 4 percent to 73,663. Ninety-six percent of the reports (70,856) were presentence guideline reports, which are comprehensive investigative reports prepared in felony or Class A misdemeanor cases for which the U.S. Sentencing Commission has promulgated guidelines. Modified presentence reports, which are less comprehensive, represented 2 percent of total presentence investigative reports. Non-guideline reports, reports involving petty offenses, reports for treaty transfer cases, and supplemental reports to the Bureau of Prisons constituted 1 percent (percentages do not add up to 100 due to rounding). Non-guideline reports, which involve offenses for which the Sentencing Commission has not promulgated guidelines, decreased from 153 to 121.

Substance Abuse Treatment

Federal offenders receive substance abuse treatment from a variety of sources–state programs, local programs, the Department of Veterans' Affairs, and Judiciary-funded substance abuse treatment services. The data presented here reflect only Judiciary funded substance abuse treatment and exclude costs associated with substance abuse testing.

Of the 77,737 offenders under supervision with court-ordered substance abuse treatment conditions, 23,792 received Judiciary-funded treatment. The Federal Judiciary spent an average of $894 per offender (down $105 from 2012) for a total of $21.3 million (down $7 million from 2012). Nationwide, 31 percent of offenders with conditions requiring substance abuse treatment received Judiciary-funded treatment, down from 36 percent in 2012.

For additional information on Judiciary-funded substance abuse treatment services in the federal probation system, see Table S-13.