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United States Sentencing Commission

Suite 2-500, One Columbus Circle NE., Washington, DC 20002-8002


CHAIRWilliam H. Pryor, Jr., Acting

Vice Chair(vacancy)
Vice Chair(vacancy)
Vice Chair(vacancy)
CommissionerCharles R. Breyer
CommissionerRachel E. Barkow
CommissionerDanny C. Reeves
CommissionerWiiliam H. Pryor, Jr.
Commissioner (ex officio)Jonathan Wroblewski
Commissioner (ex officio)J. Patricia Wilson Smoot

Staff DirectorKenneth P. Cohen
Director, Office of Administration and PlanningSusan M. Brazel
Director, Office of Education and Sentencing PracticeRaquel Wilson
Director, Office of Legislative and Public AffairsChristine M. Leonard
Director, Office of Research and DataGlenn R. Schmitt
General CounselKathleen C. Grilli

The United States Sentencing Commission develops sentencing guidelines and policies for the Federal court system.

Organizational Chart

The United States Sentencing Commission was established as an independent agency in the judicial branch of the Federal Government by the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 (28 U.S.C. 991 et seq. and 18 U.S.C. 3551 et seq.). The Commission establishes sentencing guidelines and policies for the Federal courts, advising them of the appropriate form and severity of punishment for offenders convicted of Federal crimes.

The Commission comprises seven voting members and two nonvoting members. The President appoints the voting members with the advice and consent of the Senate for 6-year terms. The President also appoints one of the voting members as the Chair and designates three others as Vice Chairs.

The Commission evaluates the effects of the sentencing guidelines on the criminal justice system, advises Congress on the modification or enactment of statutes pertaining to criminal law and sentencing matters, establishes a research and development program on sentencing issues, and performs other related duties.

In executing its duties, the Commission promulgates and distributes to Federal courts and to the U.S. probation system guidelines for determining sentences to be imposed in criminal cases, general policy statements regarding the application of guidelines, and policy statements on the appropriate use of probation and supervised release revocation provisions. These sentencing guidelines and policy statements are intended to support the principles of just punishment, deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation; provide fairness in meeting the purposes of sentencing; avoid unwarranted disparity; and reflect advancement in the knowledge of human behavior as it relates to the criminal justice process.

The Commission also provides training, conducts research on sentencing-related issues, and serves as an information resource for Congress, criminal justice practitioners, and the public.

Sources of Information


The Commission offers courses that fulfill continuing legal education requirements in several jurisdictions.

Career Opportunities

The Commission posts job announcements on its Web site.

Guidelines Manual

The current "USSC Guidelines Manual" is available in Portable Document Format on the Commission's Web site. An electronic archive of the yearly manual starts with the year 1987.


Attorneys, judges, and probation officers who have questions may call the Commission's helpline for assistance. The helpline also handles data requests. Its hours of operations are 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m., eastern standard time, Monday–Friday, excluding Federal holidays. Phone, 202-502-4545.


Press releases are available on the Commission's Web site.

The Commission also posts amicus curiae briefs, reports, speeches, statements, and testimonies online.


A topical index of publications is available online.


The Commission posts reports to the Congress on its Web site.

Annual overviews of Federal criminal cases are available online.

The Office of Research and Data publishes periodic reports on Federal sentencing practices. The reports include information on the types of crimes committed, offenders who commit those crimes, the punishments imposed, and the manner in which the sentencing guidelines were applied.

Site Map

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An online subscription form is available to sign up for regular email updates from the USSC. | Email:

For further information, contact the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs, U.S. Sentencing Commission, Suite 2–500, One Columbus Circle NE., Washington, DC 20002-8002. Phone, 202-502-4500.