Sentencing Guidelines:

Potential Impact on the Federal Criminal Justice System

GGD-87-111: Published: Sep 10, 1987. Publicly Released: Sep 10, 1987.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a legislative requirement and a congressional request, GAO reviewed the United States Sentencing Commission's proposed sentencing guidelines for the federal criminal justice system and examined the reason why the Commission requested a 9-month delay in their implementation.

GAO found that: (1) the Commission believes that, although the federal prison population will increase over the next 10 to 15 years, its proposed sentencing guidelines will generate a small increase in the overall population; (2) the 9-month delay in implementation of the guidelines was to enable the Commission to adequately field test them and provide proper training to court-related personnel; and (3) witnesses at a hearing on the constitutionality of the guidelines believed that they would be challenged. GAO also found that: (1) it could not determine actual growth or the guidelines' contribution to that growth; and (2) although the guidelines will result in increased work loads, their full impact will not be clear until they are implemented.

Mar 22, 2017

Mar 21, 2017

Feb 7, 2017

Dec 14, 2016

Nov 30, 2016

Aug 3, 2016

Aug 1, 2016

Jul 14, 2016

Jul 5, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here