2016 Report to the Congress: Career Offender Enhancements

Career Offender Sentencing Enhancements (July 2016)

Click the thumbnail for full report.This report provides a broad overview of several key findings of the United States Sentencing Commission’s multi-year study of statutory and guideline definitions relating to the nature of a defendant’s prior conviction (e.g., “crime of violence,” “violent felony,” “drug trafficking offense,” and “felony drug offense”) and the impact of such definitions on the relevant statutory and guideline provisions (e.g., the career offender guideline and the Armed Career Criminal Act). The report begins by providing background on the career offender directive and the resulting career offender guideline. It also provides sentencing and recidivism data concerning career offenders, including data demonstrating the substantial impact the directive and the career offender guideline have on the resulting sentencing range. The report concludes by recommending statutory changes, including changes that would better tailor the significantly enhanced penalties required for career offenders. A more targeted approach in this area would account for differences among current career offenders and would result in sentences that are more proportional (published July 28, 2016).


Executive Summary

Section One

Section One provides an introduction to the report and highlights the Commission's recommendations.

Section Two

Section Two provides a historical overview of the Career Offender guideline (section 4B1.1).

Section Three

Section Three examines federal sentencing data to answer, "Who are Career Offenders and how are they sentenced?"

Section Four

Section Four highlights the Commission's recommendation that the career offender guideline focus on violent offenders.

Section Five

Section Five highlights the Commission's recommendation that Congress enact a uniform definition of "crime of violence" for federal criminal law applications.