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Federal Justice Statistics, 2019

NCJ Number
Mark Motivans
Date Published
October 2021
25 pages

This report is the 33rd in an annual series based on data from BJS’s Federal Justice Statistics Program, which began in 1979. It provides national statistics on the federal response to crime for fiscal year 2019. The report describes case processing in the federal criminal justice system, including investigations by U.S. attorneys, prosecutions and declinations, convictions and acquittals, sentencing, pre-trial release, detention, appeals, probation and parole, and prisons.


  • During fiscal year (FY) 2019, federal law enforcement made 206,630 arrests, a 6% increase from the 195,771 arrests in FY 2018 and a 14% increase from the 181,726 arrests in FY 2009.
  • An immigration offense was the most serious arrest offense in 57% of federal arrests in FY 2019.
  • In FY 2019, the five federal judicial districts along the U.S.-Mexico border accounted for 66% of federal arrests.
  • Of the 27,543 Drug Enforcement Administration arrests in FY 2019, the most common drug types involved were methamphetamine (9,076 arrests), followed by heroin and opioids (6,686 arrests).
  • Non-U.S. citizens made up 44% of defendants charged in U.S. district court in FY 2019, 29% of whom were from Mexico, 10% from Central America, and 2% from the Caribbean Islands.