United States Sentencing Commission


Washington, D.C.


(202 502-4500

Michael Courlander–media contact (202) 502-4597


The commission is a judicial branch entity whose seven members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. It was created in a 1984 federal anticrime law to recommend sentencing guidelines for federal judges. The guidelines became effective in 1987, but the Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that judges are not bound to follow them. The commission still makes recommendations and sponsors studies on sentencing issues.

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