Federal sentencing guidelines, administered by the U.S. Sentencing Commission, are advisory and can be amended once a year. If a person is convicted of a crime that does not have a mandatory minimum, the court consults the guidelines to determine an appropriate sentencing range. Because the guidelines are advisory, the court does not have to follow them if it determines that the guidelines range recommends doesn't fit the offender and the crime.
Some of FAMM's greatest victories have been improvements to the federal sentencing guidelines. FAMM works to make federal sentencing guidelines fairer and more proportionate. Learn more about the guidelines and our efforts.
U.S. Sentencing guidelines news and updates
Read up on the most recent changes to the Commission and the guidelines.
Learn more about the Commission's crack guideline changes and other possible reforms in 2011. Read our answers to frequently asked questions about the 2011 Retroactive Crack Guideline Amendment.
Booker and the guidelines
Learn about the ground-breaking Booker case and how it made the federal sentencing guidelines advisory.
U.S. Sentencing Commission website
Learn about the Commission; read sentencing guideline manuals, find sentencing data, and learn about changes to the guidelines.
Federal Public Defender’s Sentencing Resource Counsel
A collection of primary resource materials for the guidelines, including congressional reports, testimony, and other important documents.
How federal sentencing works: Confused about the difference between mandatory minimums and guidelines? This factsheet will help.
Federal sentencing guideline amendments in a nutshell: Learn about how the U.S. Sentencing Commission changes the federal sentencing guidelines each year.
From the U.S. Sentencing Commission:
News Release: Sentencing Commission Issues Report Assessing Penalties for Child Pornography Offenses
Report to Congress: Mandatory Minimum Penalities in the Federal Criminal Justice System (2011)
Background on the Commission and Sentencing Guidelines
Recidivism Data on the 2007 Crack Amendment
Data on Retroactive Application - 2007 Crack Amendment
2010 Annual Report
2010 Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics
2009 Annual Report
2009 Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics
2008 Annual Report
2008 Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics