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Post-Conviction Supervision — Judicial Business 2019

A total of 128,904 persons were under post-conviction supervision on September 30, 2019, a decrease of less than 1 percent from one year earlier (down 802 persons).

Persons serving terms of supervised release on that date following release from correctional institutions fell 3 percent to 113,189 and amounted to 87 percent of all persons under supervision.

Table 8
Federal Post-Conviction Supervision
Fiscal Years 2015 - 2019
Year Persons
Persons Received
Less Transfers
Persons Removed
Less Transfers
Persons Under
Supervision on
September 30
2015 64,496 60,770 60,844 57,075 135,468
2016 65,939 61,994 62,951 58,970 137,410
2017 61,352 57,575 62,938 59,083 134,731
2018 59,166 55,471 63,047 59,301 129,706
2019 62,823 59,171 62,638 59,008 128,904
Percent Change
2018 - 2019
6.2 6.7 -0.6 -0.5 -0.6

Cases of persons under supervision in the 12-month period ending September 30, 2019, that involved probation imposed by district and magistrate judges declined 5 percent to 14,660 from the previous year and accounted for 11 percent of all persons under post-conviction supervision. The number of parole cases open at the end of 2019 dropped 6 percent to 869 (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 2019 increased 7 percent to 59,171. The number of persons released from correctional institutions and received for supervised release grew 7 percent to 51,250. For persons entering the system this year, probation cases went up 2 percent to 7,090, and parole cases (including cases involving special parole, military parole, and mandatory release) fell 5 percent to 299.

Forty-six percent of persons under post-conviction supervision had been convicted of drug offenses. Seventeen percent had been convicted of property offenses. Fifteen percent had been convicted of firearms offenses. These percentages have changed little in the last five years.

The number of post-conviction supervision cases closed (including those involving transfers out of districts and deaths) remained stable, decreasing less than 1 percent to 59,915. The proportion of post-conviction cases terminated successfully also changed little, increasing less than 1 percent to 69 percent. Of those cases closed successfully, 22 percent were closed by early termination, up 1 percent from the previous year.

Technical violations led to 68 percent of the 17,280 revocations of post-conviction supervision reported, down 1 percent from the previous year. New offenses accounted for the remaining revocations and for 10 percent of all 55,067 supervision cases terminated (excluding transfers out and deaths).

Comparing data for the last days of fiscal years 2015 and 2019 reveals that the number of persons under post-conviction supervision was 5 percent lower in 2019. Offenders under post-conviction supervision who had been convicted of drug offenses dropped from 48 percent of the total to 46 percent. Those convicted of property offenses fell from 21 percent to 17 percent of the total. Those convicted of firearms offenses increased from 12 percent to 15 percent of the total. Persons serving terms of supervised release following release from a correctional institution rose 1 percent over the past five years. In 2019, they represented 87 percent of all persons under supervision, up from 84 percent in 2015.

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

Investigative Reports

The number of full presentence reports prepared by probation officers increased 9 percent to 73,337. Ninety-three percent of the reports (68,256) 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 6 percent of total presentence investigative reports. Non-guideline reports, which are prepared for felony and Class A misdemeanor cases for which the U.S. Sentencing Commission has not promulgated guidelines, constituted less than 1 percent of investigative reports (115).

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 73,167 offenders under supervision with court-ordered substance abuse treatment conditions, 25,139 received judiciary-funded treatment (down 1,282 offenders from 2018). The federal Judiciary spent an average of $1,532 per offender (down $2) for a total of $31.9 million (down 1.5 million). Nationwide, 34 percent of offenders with conditions requiring substance abuse treatment received judiciary-funded treatment, down from 36 percent in 2018.

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