Federal Crime Control Issues in the 111th Congress [January 25, 2011]   [open pdf - 235KB]

"States and localities have traditionally been responsible for preventing and controlling domestic crime. As crime rates continued to increase throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, the federal government increased its involvement in crime control efforts. Over a period of 10 years (1984-1994), Congress passed five major anti-crime bills and increased appropriations for federal assistance to state and local law enforcement agencies. Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, federal law enforcement efforts have been focused on countering terrorism and maintaining homeland security. Amid these efforts, however, Congress has continued to address many traditional crimerelated issues. This report aggregates various issues surrounding federal crime control into five broad themes: violent crime control, combating fraud and theft, drug control, sentencing reform, and state and local justice assistance. Within these themes, the report examines more specific issues that confronted the 111th Congress. Issues discussed under the umbrella of violent crime control include hate crimes, gangs, and gun control. Issues related to the federal government's efforts to combat fraud and theft include identity theft and organized retail crime. A perennial drug control issue discussed is that of drug trafficking. Congress also considered sentencing reform issues such as disparities in crack and powder cocaine sentencing as well as early prison release. With respect to state and local justice assistance, issues regarding the adequacy of federal assistance grants to state and local law enforcement--via the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Program--and the proposal of a new witness protection grant program as well as juvenile justice are discussed."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R40812
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