Sessions Backs Henry Hudson for Sentencing Commission

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has asked President Trump to nominate Henry Hudson, a federal judge and tough-on-crime ex-prosecutor once nicknamed “Hang ’Um High,” for a slot on the seven-member U.S. Sentencing Commission.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is backing Henry Hudson, a federal judge and tough-on-crime ex-prosecutor once nicknamed “Hang ’Um High,” for a slot on the U.S. Sentencing Commission, reports the Wall Street Journal. The recommendation to the White House reflects the Justice Department’s crackdown on violent crime, including the reversal of several Obama-era policies. DOJ is urging the commission to toughen sentences for certain violent criminals, drug offenders, illegal immigrant smugglers and so-called career offenders.

The department has asked the panel to preserve long, mandatory-minimum sentences, which supporters say help fight crime but critics say inflate prison costs and disproportionately hurt minority communities without improving public safety. President Trump has the authority but is under no requirement to fill two Republican vacancies and one Democratic spot on the seven-seat commission. Hudson was a candidate for FBI director this year. “I’m excited about the opportunity to serve on the commission,”Hudson, who serves in the U.S. District Court in Richmond, Va., told the Journal. “I’d like to make sure the guidelines are fair and consider every possible factor in a case.”


The ‘Lies’ Behind the Selling of California’s Prop 47

A recent California Supreme Court ruling ensured that the state’s prisoner realignment policies will keep the most violent offenders behind bars. The president of the LA Deputy DA’s association argues that was a needed “common-sense” corrective to reforms in the state’s Three-Strikes law.

Politics will never exist without spin doctors. Yet, as cynical as our political system has become, recent California ballot measures sold to the public as “public safety” measures have gone beyond the pale.

Nearly every soft-on-crime law enacted in the last half decade included the words “safe” or “safety” in the description. No two better examples exist than Propositions 47 and 57.

In California, Prop 47 advocates called it the “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act.” Prop 47 did nothing for neighborhoods except to dramatically increase property crime. It did nothing for schools except for making undelivered promises to increase funding.

Editor’s Note: Proposition 57 (2016)  increased parole and good behavior opportunities for felons convicted of nonviolent crimes and allowing judges, not prosecutors, to decide whether to try certain juveniles as adults in court.

Last month, the California Supreme Court delivered some common sense reality to Prop 47 in People v. Valencia.

At issue were “third strikers” — criminals who have two or more prior convictions for serious or violent crimes. Under the “three strikes” law, a criminal who had two or more prior “strike” convictions and who then committed any new felony offense would receive a sentence of 25 years to life.

As originally written and implemented, that sentence was mandatory unless a judge used her discretion to “strike” one or more of the prior convictions at sentencing. But the public became disillusioned with a sentencing scheme that was, at times, perceived as inflexibly harsh.

In 2012, with the passage of Proposition 36, the 25-years-to life sentence was limited to cases where the new felony offense was also a serious or violent crime. It also allowed inmates sentenced under the old rules to petition for resentencing.

Crucially, however, a judge could deny a petition to reduce the sentence if the court, in its discretion, determined that the inmate “would pose an unreasonable risk of danger to public.”

Enter Prop 47. It reduced certain drug and theft felonies to misdemeanors. Prop 47 also had a resentencing provision which allowed inmates to petition for a reduction in their felony sentence if that crime had since been reduced to a misdemeanor.

Michele Hanisee

Like Prop 36, Prop 47 gave the court discretion to deny a reduction if resentencing “would result in an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety. But the discretion granted was so limited as to be illusory.

Under Prop 47, a judge could only refuse to reduce the sentence if he or she found an unreasonable risk that the inmate would commit one of eight specific types of violent crime: homicide, attempted homicide, murder, solicitation to commit murder, sexual assault on a child under age 14, assault with a machine gun on a police officer or firefighter, possession of a weapon of mass destruction, or any offense normally punishable by life or death.

Based on the overlap in these different provisions, two third-strike inmates petitioned for resentencing, arguing that the language contained in Prop 47 should apply to them.

The California Supreme Court observed that if the petitioners’ argument was correct, it would make it easier “for recidivist serious or violent offenders to have their life sentences vacated, and render them more likely to be released.”

The California Supreme Court wisely rejected the inmate’s appeal, holding that there was nothing in Prop 47 that suggested it was intended to apply to serious and violent third strikers seeking resentencing. “[N]either the initiative’s text nor its supporting materials describe any intention to amend the criteria for the resentencing of recidivist or violent felons….”

Nor, said the court, was such a result predicted by the Attorney General or the Legislative Analyst in their summary of the measure—or discernible to the voting public.

Most illuminating, however, was the dissent of Justice Liu, who in blasting the majority for the decision wrote: “The court today concludes that the drafters of Proposition 47 pulled a fast one on an uninformed public.”

Truer words have never been spoken.

With their deliberately misleading title referencing “safe schools” and platitudes about public safety, the drafters of Prop 47 fooled the public to accomplish their goal of decriminalizing property crimes and releasing convicted criminals from custody.

Those behind Prop 57 took their cues from Prop 47, selling the public with assurances that its early parole provision only applied to “non-violent” offenders. That’s news to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, whose published regulations on early parole explicitly include inmates sentenced to prison for violent offenses.

Recently, we saw an example of that regulation in effect, with the Fresno DA’s office highlighting an inmate who attempted to stab two people being paroled two years into an eleven-year sentence thanks to Prop 57.

Lawyers can pore over the Valencia opinion for its lessons on the intricacies of statutory construction.

The big takeaway from Valencia was contained in the dissent, which inadvertently highlighted a truth worthy of repeating: “The court today concludes that the drafters of Proposition 47 pulled a fast one on an uninformed public.”

Editors’ Note: For another view, see TCR story, “California Officials Say Prison Realignment Puts State on Right Track.”

Michele Hanisee is President of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys (LADD), the collective bargaining agent representing nearly 1,000 Deputy District Attorneys who work for the County of Los Angeles. An earlier version of this essay was published in the LADD website. Readers’ comments are welcome.


Mass Incarceration: Prisoners of Time

Under get-tough anticrime laws from the 1980s and 1990s, prisoners’ average length of stay has grown in every state since 2000, a report by the Urban Institute finds.

Despite the enactment of justice reforms in many states, the nation’s prison and jail population has dropped only slightly in recent years. Well over two million people remain behind bars, and there has been little dent in the “mass incarceration” that that has been criticized by many on both the left and the right.

A new report from the Urban Institute tells much of the reason why: Prisoners sentenced to long terms under laws passed in previous decades still are locked up, and there is little hope for many of them to get out soon.

The key phrase used by those who follow the criminal justice system is “length of stay,” or the amount of time that a convicted person ends up spending in prison despite the stated sentence.

In “A Matter of Time: The Causes and Consequences of Rising Time Served in America’s Prisons,” the institute said that “more people have been going to prison and staying there longer, mostly because of “tough-on-crime” policies that swept the country in the 1980s and ’90s. The prison population boomed as sentences got longer and release policies got more restrictive.”

In the past, many convicts were released by parole boards or by other policies well before the maximum time they could have served. Reacting to criticism of these so-called early releases, many states enacted laws requiring all prisoners to stay through at least 85 percent of their sentences.

The Urban Institute report found that the average length of stay has grown in every state since 2000. In almost half of states, the top 10 percent of prison terms increased in length by more than 5 years between 2000 and 2014.

States that have data going back further reported numbers that the institute called even more dramatic. In Michigan, the average time served among the 10 percent longest- serving prisoners was 10 years in 1989 and 26 years in 2013. In California, it was 9.7 years in 1992 and 24.9 years in 2014.

The report took a look at “stark racial disparities” that it said grow as people serve longer terms in prison, judging from figures in the 35 of 44 states with complete data. In Pennsylvania, black people make up 49 percent of the state prison population but 60 percent of those serving long prison terms.

One in five people in prison for 10 years or more is a black man who was incarcerated before age 25.

In fact, nearly 40 percent of those serving the longest prison terms went to prison before 25, despite research showing that brain development is not complete at younger ages.

Advocacy groups in recent years have touted reforms states have adopted to reduce their prison populations. Yet those changes have focused mainly on low-level crimes. Some new laws have reduced prison time for minor offenses, but the “the narrow focus of these reforms has intentionally excluded those who stay in prison the longest,” says the new report. “These changes have an outsized effect on the prison population, because people convicted of violent offenses make up more than half the people in state prisons and the majority of people with long prison terms.”

One effect of the longer terms is that states are spending millions of dollars caring for an aging prison population although many inmates could be safely released, the institute says. Also, people serving long terms leave their families behind, a problem confronted disproportionately by minorities. Many who finally are released are unprepared to live in a different world, and recidivism rates are high.

To get a realistic view of the impact of long terms, authors of the study interviewed several people who have served long terms.

One of them was Stanley Mitchell, who spent 35 years in a Maryland prison. Sentenced to life with the possibility of parole, he was released in 2013 at 63. “Does prison, long-term incarceration, change people?,” he said. “Sure it does. Does it change them for the better? Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. More times than not, it doesn’t. It makes a person more bitter, more hateful, especially when…the rules are not applied fairly.”

Another ex-inmate, Elvin Garcia, said, “I’ve seen individuals do long sentences…[and] by the time they’re released, both parents died. They have no immediate family left. No one.”

Advocates of the tough-on-crime policies that resulted in today’s long sentences argued that they would improve public safety and bring healing to crime victims. Jeff Sessions, President Trump’s Attorney General, is a proponent of longer prison terms.

The institute’s report argues that “decades of experience have revealed long prison terms to be a weak antidote to the problems that cause violence and a painfully inadequate answer to victims’ calls for resolution and healing.”

The report notes that long-term inmates often are among the last in line to get educational programming behind the walls and may have little incentive to take part if they don’t see release coming any time soon.

The institute suggested a series of principles for reform, including that sentences should be proportionate to the offense and the circumstances surrounding it, that punishments should be no more severe than necessary, that victims be offered a variety of ways to support justice, that everyone deserves a meaningful chance of release, and that “reforms must seek to dismantle systemic disparities” along racial and ethnic lines.

A series of specific recommendations to implement changes includes: assessing candidates for parole based on who they are now, not on their original offense; and establishing a standard of “presumptive parole,” releasing prisoners when they are first eligible “unless there is clear evidence that their release poses a significant threat to public safety.”

Several reform advocates have proposed significant shortening of prison terms. For example, Marc Mauer of The Sentencing Project maintains that most prison terms should be no longer than 20 years. And a group called “#cut50” contends that “we can smartly and safely reduce the number of people in our prisons and jails by 50 percent and keep communities safe while doing it.”

No states have enacted such a plan, and most have not even seriously considered it.

In Louisiana, the state with one of the world’s highest incarceration rates, the legislature approved changes this year that would reduce penalties for low-level offenders, but elected sheriffs and district attorneys blocked more sweeping bills that would have affected violent criminals.

The Urban Institute’s report aims at convincing policymakers to “dismantle the disastrous policies that have inflicted so much damage while doing little to address the real problems of crime.”

The report was funded by the Open Society Foundations, which did not determine the research findings. The authors are Leigh Courtney, Sarah Eppler-Epstein, Elizabeth Pelletier, Ryan King, and Serena Lei.

Ted Gest is president of Criminal Justice Journalists and Washington Bureau chief of The Crime Report. Readers’ comments are welcome.


The State of Mandatory Minimums: Federal Report

The use of federal criminal charges that carry a mandatory minimum prison term has dropped since 2011, reports the U.S. Sentencing Commission. That is likely to change under Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The use of criminal charges that carry a mandatory minimum prison term has dropped since 2011,  according to the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC).

However, in a multi-year study evaluating the use and impact of mandatory minimums for federal offenses, the commission also found that white offenders convicted of crimes carrying a mandatory minimum are now serving the highest average sentences.

As of September 2016, over 55 percent of inmates in federal custody had been charged with a crime that carries, or triggers, a mandatory minimum prison term. The average sentence was 110 months, or 9.1 years– over four times the average sentence for other crimes.

Among inmates who had received sentencing relief in court, the average sentence was still twice as long as for other federal crimes.

The commission notes that impact from policy changes during the later years of the Obama administration is unlikely to have influenced the data in its report.

The USSC issued its last analysis of federal mandatory minimums in 2011, and made several key recommendations to Congress– including that it “reassess the severity and scope” of enhanced sentences triggered by drug crime recidivism. While several bipartisan bills on sentencing reform have been introduced, none has passed.

Policy directives and practice changed between 2010 and 2017, though. Former Attorney General Eric Holder loosened the mandate to charge offenders with the “most serious offense” supported by the facts, requiring individualized assessment of the charges. He later issued a memorandum instructing prosecutors not to seek maximum charges under certain specific circumstances.

Since then, the Supreme Court has modified directives issued in the Holder memo, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has instructed prosecutors to once again seek the harshest possible charges.

The full Sentencing Commission report can be found here: Overview of Mandatory Minimum Penalties in the Federal Criminal Justice System.


Do Sessions Claims on Prison, Crime Ignore Research?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says that under the Obama administration, “sentences went down and crime went up.” Studies have found that harsher punishments and the higher incarceration rates they lead to don’t have a big impact on crime.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says that under the Obama administration, "sentences went down and crime went up." Studies have found that harsher punishments and the higher incarceration rates they lead to don’t have a big impact on crime . . .

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Report: 20 Fed Prosecutors Ignored Smart-on-Crime Initiative

A Department of Justice study of the impact of the Obama Administration’s “Smart on Crime” recommendations to reduce the number of mandatory minimum sentences for individuals convicted of federal drug crimes also found that in some cases prosecutors didn’t bother to discuss the recommendations with local law enforcement partners.

At least 20 of the country’s 94 federal districts did not follow the Obama Administration’s “Smart on Crime” recommendations to reduce the number of mandatory minimum sentences for individuals convicted of federal drug crimes, according to a Department of Justice report.

The report, by the DOJ’s Office of Inspector General, also noted that “in response to our survey of U.S. Attorney’s Offices, Criminal Chiefs from nine districts responded that their district did not work with law enforcement partners to develop or revise district guidelines and Criminal Chiefs from four districts responded that they were not sure whether this had occurred.”

Overall, the report found that the Smart on Crime initiative had a significant impact in most of the country’s federal districts.  It concluded that the rate  of federal drug offenders sentenced without a mandatory minimum rose from 40 percent in 2012 to 54 percent in 2015, which it said was “consistent with the first two principles of Smart on Crime.”

Then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder announced the Smart on Crime initiative in August, 2013, laying out five principles for justice system reform that were aimed at encouraging federal prosecutors to focus on the most serious cases. The first principle required prosecutors to develop “district-specific guidelines for determining when federal prosecutions were brought, and the second principle declared that defendants who had committed low-level, non-violence drug offenses (and who had no ties to organized crime) would not be charged with offenses that imposed mandatory-minimum prison sentences.

According to the Inspector General, 74 of the  94 districts had developed or updated their local policies to “reflect the Smart on Crime policy changes regarding mandatory minimum charging decisions.”

But it also identified shortcomings in implementing the initiative that raise questions about the extent to which prosecutors follow federal guidelines.

The report noted that it did not review the shift in policy announced in May by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that would re-impose across-the-board mandatory minimums for federal drug offenses, effectively reversing many of the key points of the former administration’s justice reform initiatives.

“While most districts updated their prosecution guidelines, it is not clear whether all districts worked in conjunction with their law enforcement partners to develop or update existing district-specific prosecution guidelines for determining when federal prosecutions should have been brought and in what priority areas, consistent with the first principle of Smart on Crime,” the report said.

The report recommended:

  • Changing the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual to “accurately” reflect Department charging policies;
  • Ensuring that all U.S. Attorney’s Offices consult with their law enforcement partners to make sure that their policies are current and consistent with local prosecution priorities;
  • Requiring all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to collect charging data that will enable the Department to determine whether its charging and sentencing policies are being effectively implemented.

A full copy of the report is available here.


Young-Adult Criminals Challenging Life Sentences

Adopting arguments used by people who committed crimes as teenagers, some serving life terms for offenses at ages 18, 19, and 20 are challenging life terms on the basis that their brains hadn’t matured when they broke the law.

Appeals by inmates serving life prison terms in Pennsylvania based on crimes committed when they were 18, 19, and 20 years old have begun to reach the state’s highest court, reports One was filed by Charmaine Pfender, who was 18 when she shot a man she says was attempting to rape her at knifepoint, killing him. Such petitions argue that the immaturity and impulsivity that diminish younger teens’ culpability continue well into the 20s, as a person’s brain continues to develop. If successful, the appeals could have sweeping implications: More than half of Pennsylvania’s lifers entered the prison system between 18 and 25. That’s 2,763 inmates.  These arguments appear to be gaining traction elsewhere. An Illinois appeals court has granted a new sentencing hearing to Antonio House, who was 19 when he participated in a gang-related killing. A federal judge will hear arguments in the Connecticut case of Luis Noel Cruz, who was 18 when he participated in a murder.

Laurence Steinberg, a Temple University psychologist, says such arguments have a scientific basis. His research shows that while cognitive abilities mature by age 16, other parts of the brain mature later. Areas that influence criminal culpability, like impulsiveness, risk-aversion, and resistance to peer pressure, continue maturing well into the 20s. “The legal question is harder than the scientific question.” he says. “We have lots of age boundaries … that don’t make any sense from a scientific point of view. Why on earth would we let people drive when they’re 16, but not see sexy movies until they’re 17? Driving is a much more dangerous thing to do.” Some jurisdictions have set up young-adult courts, targeting those between 18 and 25 for consideration. San Francisco, Brooklyn, and Chicago have all launched such initiatives.



CA Judges Can Refuse To Cut Prison Terms, High Court Says

In a 4-3 decision, the California Supreme Court said judges may freely decline to trim sentences for inmates who qualify for reductions under a 2012 ballot measure intended to reform the state’s tough three-strikes sentencing law.

California judges have broad authority in refusing to lighten the sentences of “three-strike” inmates, despite recent ballot measures aimed at reducing the state’s prison population, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday, the Los Angeles Times reports. In a 4-3 decision, the court said judges may freely decline to trim sentences for inmates who qualify for reductions under a 2012 ballot measure intended to reform the state’s tough three-strikes sentencing law. Justice Leondra Kruger, an appointee of Gov. Jerry Brown, joined more conservative justices to reach the result. The decision aimed to resolve questions posed by two ballot measures in recent years to reduce the population of the state’s overburdened prison system.

Proposition 36 allowed three-strike inmates to obtain sentence reductions if their third strike was neither serious nor violent. Judges were entitled to refuse a reduction if they believed the inmate posed an “unreasonable risk of danger to public safety.” They could consider the inmate’s history, disciplinary record in prison or other evidence. Two years later, voters passed Proposition 47, another ballot measure to reduce the prison population. That measure created a definition of a safety risk that judges were required to apply. Inmates could be denied a sentence reduction only if they were deemed to pose an unreasonable risk of committing certain crimes, including a killing, a sexually violent offense, child molestation or other serious or violent felony punishable by life in prison or the death penalty. The court majority, led by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, said that definition did not apply to three-strikers, who have been sentenced to 25 years to life for repeated crimes. If it had, Cantil-Sakauye wrote, it would “result in the release of more recidivist serious and/or violent offenders than had been originally contemplated under Proposition 36.”


‘Disparities’ in Treatment of Black and White Offenders Traced to Pretrial Phase

An examination of 10,000 San Francisco criminal cases by the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice found that race and ethnicity influence how long an individual is held in custody before trial, as well as the severity of the charges.

An individual’s race and ethnic background determine how he is treated at the “front end” of the criminal justice system, according to a study published this week.

The study, which, focused on poor African-American, Latino and white defendants (all male) in San Francisco, found what it called “systematic differences” in outcomes during the preliminary steps of an individual’s involvement in the justice system, from arrest and booking to the pretrial phase.

“Defendants of color are more likely to be held in custody during their cases, which tend to take longer than the cases of White defendants,” said the study, published by the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice.

“Their felony charges are less likely to be reduced, and misdemeanor charges (are) more likely to be increased during the plea bargaining process, meaning that they are convicted of more serious crimes than similarly situated White defendants.”

The study’s conclusions added a troubling dimension to existing research on racial disparities in the U.S. justice system which has largely concentrated on “final case outcomes,” such as conviction, incarceration and sentence length. In California, for example, African-American men are incarcerated at 10 times the incarceration rate of white men, five times the incarceration rate of Latino men, and 100 times the incarceration rate of Asian men, according to figures cited by the study.

But the study authors’ examination of more than 10,000 records of cases between 2011 and 2014 provided by the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office challenged the notion that the difference is explained simply by the fact that African-Americans or Hispanics commit more crimes than other groups.

Their findings suggest that whites are in fact treated more leniently when they are apprehended during the early stages of their involvement in the justice system, thus making them less likely to end up with prison terms in the first place.

“We do not find evidence that district attorneys file more or fewer charges against Black or Latinx defendants,” said the authors. “However, it does appear that charges added by the DA against Black defendants are more likely to be felonies, less likely to be misdemeanors, and are therefore more serious overall.

“We also observe that Latinx defendants have more misdemeanors, and also more serious charges, added by prosecutors after booking.”

Among the study’s other findings:

  • Black defendants are held in pretrial custody 62% longer than whites;
  • The time to resolution of cases involving black defendants is 14% longer than the time to resolutions of cases involving white defendants;
  • Defendants of color are convicted of more serious crimes than white defendants, and receive sentences that are, on average, 28% longer than those received by white defendants.

The study said the differences could be traced to initial police decisions about whom to arrest, fueled in part by socioeconomic and racial gaps among city neighborhoods.

“After examining multiple potential causes of these differences, we find that the majority of the variance can be explained by two factors: the initial booking decisions made by officers of the San Francisco Police Department and racial differences in previous contact with the criminal justice system in San Francisco County,” the study said.

The study, entitled “Examining Racial Disparities in Criminal Case Outcomes among Indigent Defendants in San Francisco,” was conducted by Emily Owens, of the University of California, Irvine School of Social Ecology; Erin M. Kerrison, of the University of California, Berkeley School of Social Welfare; and Bernardo Santos Da Silveira, of the Washington University in St. Louis Olin Business School.

A full copy is available here.


US Criminal Caseload Dropping: Report

The US Sentencing Commission’s quarterly report shows a decrease in the total number of criminal cases since 2016, despite a slight uptick in the last quarter which appears to be driven by immigration offenses. Immigration and drug crimes made up over 62% of criminal cases in the U.S. between October 2016 and March 2017, with firearms offenses a distant second at 11.8%.

The US Sentencing Commission (USCC) quarterly report shows a decrease in the total number of criminal cases since 2016, despite a slight uptick in the last quarter which appears to be driven by immigration offenses.

Immigration and drug crimes topped the list of offenses in the U.S. in the quarter ending in March, the commission reported. (USSC).

Tying for first place, these two offenses made up over 62% of criminal cases in the U.S. between October 2016 and March 2017, with firearms offenses a distant second at 11.8%, the USSC said in its latest quarterly report.

The USSC’s quarterly report also shows a decrease in the total number of criminal cases since 2016, despite a slight uptick in the last quarter which appears to be driven by immigration offenses.

The data show a steady increase in sentences that are above primary sentencing guidelines, from 1.9% in 2012, to an average 2.8% so far this fiscal year, while sentences below guidelines fell slightly in the second quarter.

Among sentences that fell above guidelines, the median percent increase in simple drug possession cases was 100%, while trafficking was 39.1%; immigration related sentences rose 53.3% prison offenses received a 130% increase; larceny 87.5%.

Demographics of top offenses:

  • Immigration (total 10, 164 cases): 8.7% U.S. citizens; 93.6% male; 1.8% white, 1.4% black, and 96.2% hispanic;
  • Drug trafficking (total 9,399): 72.9% U.S. citizens; 83.7% male; 22.3% white, 24% black, and 50.6% hispanic;
  • Simple possession (total 666): 65.8% non-U.S. citizens; 87.6% male; 12.8% white, 12.6% black, and 75.4% hispanic;
  • Firearms (total 3,856): 94.3% U.S. citizens; 96.8% male; 24.5% white,  51.4% black, and 21.1% hispanic;
  • Fraud (total 2,937): 82% U.S. citizens;70.4% male; 41,5% white, 29.7% black, and 22.5% hispanic;
  • 28.1% government-sponsored sentences below sentencing guidelines.