Geographical area

Pretrial Detention and Misconduct in Federal District Courts, 1995-2010


Source: U.S. Department of Justice

Between fiscal years 1995 and 2010, the number of defendants with cases disposed in federal district courts increased by 120%, from 45,635 in 1995 to 100,622 in 2010 For this report, a defendant is a person with a case disposed in the federal courts, while a disposition involves the act of terminating the defendant’s case through guilty plea or trial conviction, dismissal, or acquittal (see Methodology).

From 1995 to 2010, the percentage of federal defendants who were detained pretrial increased from 59% to 76%.

Data for this report were provided to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ (BJS) Federal Justice Statistics Program (FJSP) by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts’ (AOUSC) Office of Probation and Pretrial Services Automated Case Tracking System (PACTS). The PACTS data cover various aspects of pretrial release in the federal district courts, including the decision to release or detain a defendant and the behavior of defendants while on pretrial release. In addition, the data contain detailed information on defendants by most serious offense charged and criminal history (see Methodology).

The PACTS data analyzed for this report include defendants whose cases were disposed by the
federal courts between fiscal years 1995 and 2010.

  • Geographical area: United States