Serving the Southern District of Indiana

Sentencing Resources

Sentencing Mitigation Resource Team

The Indiana Federal Community Defender (IFCD) mitigation services program is one of the first of its kind in the federal public defender system. Our team of experts work closely with defendants and their friends and family to address the individual needs of the defendant.  View this page to meet our team and learn how this program provides an increased level of advocacy on behalf of the defendant.

Guidelines for Letters of Support

Letters of support are a very important part of the sentencing process because they help the judge get to know the person they are sentencing in ways other than just the facts of the offense.  In our district, all of the judges read all of the letters submitted and frequently comment upon them before they sentence the defendant.  View this page for some important guidelines to help you as you write a letter of support.

The U.S. Sentencing Commission

The United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) is a permanent independent agency in the judicial branch of the government that develops sentencing guidelines for the U.S. Federal Courts.  Click the link above to visit the USSC website for additional details and resources.

Current Sentencing Guidelines

The Federal Sentencing Guidelines are rules that set out a uniform sentencing policy for individuals and organizations convicted of felonies and some serious misdemeanors in the United States federal courts system.  View this page on the United States Sentencing Commission website for the most up to date guidelines.

Sentencing Table

The Sentencing Table is a chart that judges can reference for determining a reasonable sentence based on the sentencing guidelines.  The table is not necessarily conducive to the exact sentence that will be issued if a guilty conviction is given.  Click the lnk to view the table on the USSC website to serve as a guide for determining possible sentencing outcomes.  
Overview of how to read the table:  The criminal history categories are listed on the top and the offense levels are listed on the left. The sentence that "should" be imposed (based on sentencing guidelines) is listed where the two intersect on the table. For example, someone with a criminal history category of I convicted of a criminal offense of level 8 should be sentenced to between zero and six months in prison. However, someone convicted of the same level 8 offense but with a criminal history category of V should be sentenced to between 15 and 21 months in prison.  

Drug Sentencing Updates

In July of 2014 The United States Sentencing Commission voted unanimously to apply a reduction in the sentencing guideline levels applicable to most federal drug trafficking offenders retroactively, meaning that many offenders currently in prison could be eligible for reduced sentences beginning November 2015.  Click the link above to view the page for details, resources and to inquire about eligibility.