Saturday, October 6, 2012

Federal drug prosecutions on the decline

The number of federal drug prosecutions is on track to drop by more than 14 percent this year, reported The National Law Journal.

According to the Syracuse University research center, during the first 10 months of fiscal year 2012, new prosecutions referred by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency totaled 11,782. At that pace, year-end totals would be 14.4 percent lower than during fiscal year 2011, according to a report issued on October 1 by Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University. The 2012 fiscal year ran from October 1, 2011, through September 30, 2012.

The 2012 estimate represents a decline of 16.3 percent compared with five years ago and 14.8 percent compared with 10 years ago.

The reason for the decline is unclear. The DEA's budget for 2012 is slightly higher at $2.04 billion, compared with $2.01 billion in 2011, and the number of positions and agents has remained basically unchanged.

New Mexico saw the highest rate of prosecutions per capita through July 2012, with 217 per 1 million people, totaling 364 prosecutions. The state also ranked first a year ago and five years ago. The other top five jurisdictions during 2012 were the Western District of Texas, the Eastern District of Arkansas, North Dakota and Kansas, The National Law Journal.

The federal jurisdiction recording the biggest projected drop in the rate of prosecutions was the Southern District of Texas, at 25.3 percent.

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