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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Tying Up Loose Ends... Supreme Court To Evaluate Federal Firearm Provision Again
This legal sidebar discusses certiorari to hear Voisine v. United States, a decision examining the federal provision that makes it unlawful for an individual to possess a firearm or ammunition if he or she has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (MCDV). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795446/
Police Use of Force: Rules, Remedies, and Reforms
This report addresses three overarching questions to provide legal context for the debate concerning the appropriate level of force police officers should wield: (1) what are the constitutional rules governing an officer's use of force; (2) what role has Congress played in providing a remedy for a violation of these rules; and (3) what are the potential reforms to these rules and remedies? digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795772/
Is Violent Crime in the United States Increasing?
Overall, homicide and violent crime rates have been trending downward for more than two decades, and both rates are at historic lows. An analysis comparing 2014 and 2015 homicide data from the nation's 60 most populous cities suggests that violent crime is not increasing. This report discusses several short-term factors that might help explain some of the reported upticks in violent crime across the country. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795528/
The Crime Victims Fund: Federal Support for Victims of Crime
This report provides background and funding information for Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) programs and the Crime Victims Fund (CVF). It describes the process through which CVF funds are allocated and explains how the CVF impacts the annual budget for DOJ. It then provides an analysis of selected issues that Congress may consider regarding the CVF and the federal budget. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795823/
Sentencing Reform: Comparison of Selected Proposals
This report is a comparison of selected criminal sentencing reform bills as introduced: H.R. 3713, H.R. 2944, S. 502, and H.R. 920; and S. 2123 as passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee with a manager's amendment). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795834/
Is This the First Step in Undoing Mass Incarceration? 6,000 Federal Drug Offenders Set to be Released
In early November, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is scheduled to release approximately 6,000 federal inmates convicted of drug trafficking offenses. This report briefly examines the background of this release and its potential effects. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795352/
U.S.-Mexico Security Cooperation Following "El Chapo" Guzmán's Escape
This report discusses U.S.-Mexican security cooperation in the wake of the escape of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán on July 11, 2015, from a maximum security federal prison near Mexico City. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795808/
Backlog of Sexual Assault Evidence: In Brief
This report provides background on the sexual assault kit (SAKs, also referred to as "rape kits") backlog and information on federal efforts to reduce it. The backlog of SAKs has raised concerns over justice for assault victims and that additional victimizations could have been prevented had the evidence from any given kit been tested and the perpetrator apprehended in a timely manner. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795478/
Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA): Background and Funding
This report provides an overview of the federal response to domestic violence--defined broadly to include acts of physical and nonphysical violence against spouses and other intimate partners--through the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795432/
Sentence Reform Acts: S.2123 and H.R. 3713
This report discusses the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015, S. 2123, and the Sentencing Reform Act of 2015, H.R. 3713, use virtually identical language to reduce the impact of the mandatory minimum sentences which federal courts must now impose for certain drug trafficking and firearms offenses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795423/
Risk and Needs Assessment in the Criminal Justice System
This report provides information on the use of risk and needs assessment in the criminal justice system. It starts with an overview of risk and needs assessment and a discussion of some of the critiques of it. The report concludes with a discussion of the issues policymakers might consider if they debate legislation to expand the use of risk and needs assessment in the federal prison system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795663/
Federal Tactical Teams
This report provides a brief overview of the development of tactical teams at the state and local level and the concerns raised by their expansion. It then discusses the composition of these teams in the federal government. It concludes with a discussion of potential issues for policymakers to consider if they take up legislation or conduct oversight related to how the federal government uses tactical teams. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795776/
Mass Murder with Firearms: Incidents and Victims, 1999-2013
This report analyzes mass shootings for a 15-year period (1999-2013). CRS analysis of the FBI SHR dataset and other research indicates that offenders committed at least 317 mass shootings, murdered 1,554 victims, and nonfatally wounded another 441 victims entirely with firearms during that 15-year period. The prevalence of mass shooting incidents and victim counts fluctuated sporadically from year to year. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743624/
Armed Career Criminal Act (18 U.S.C. 924(e)): An Overview
This report discusses the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. 924(e). The law requires a minimum 15-year term of imprisonment for recidivists convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm under 18 U.S.C. 922(g), who have three prior state or federal convictions for violent felonies or serious drug offenses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743592/
Trafficking in Persons in Latin America and the Caribbean
This report describes the nature and scope of the problem of human trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean, including U.S. efforts to deal with trafficking in persons in the region, as well as the successes and failures of some recent country and regional antitrafficking efforts. The report concludes by raising issues that may be helpful for the 113th Congress to consider as it continues to address human trafficking as part of its authorization, appropriations, and oversight activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743423/
Risk and Needs Assessment in the Criminal Justice System
This report provides information on the use of risk and needs assessment in the criminal justice system. It starts with an overview of risk and needs assessment and a discussion of some critiques. The report concludes with a discussion of the issues policymakers might consider if they debate legislation to expand the use of risk and needs assessment in the federal prison system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743497/
U.S.-Mexico Security Cooperation Following "El Chapo" Guzmán's Escape
This report discusses the escape of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán on July 11, 2015, from a maximum security federal prison near Mexico City. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743394/
Charleston, SC, Mass Shooter Might Have Been Denied a Handgun If Not for Possible Recordkeeping Oversights
This report briefly discusses the announcement by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey that the alleged assailant in the Charleston, SC, mass murder/shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church might have been prevented from acquiring a handgun if not for possible recordkeeping oversights on the part of the FBI and Columbia, SC, city police and county sheriff's departments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700694/
France: Efforts to Counter Islamist Terrorism and Radicalization
This report briefly discusses heightened concern regarding the threat of Islamist terrorism in France and Europe. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700826/
Sex Trafficking: An Overview of Federal Criminal Law
This report discusses federal laws on sex trafficking. Sex trafficking is a state crime. Federal law, however, makes it a federal crime to conduct the activities of a sex trafficking enterprise in a way that affects interstate or foreign commerce or that involves travel in interstate or foreign commerce. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700838/
Sifting Domestic Terrorism from Other Illegal Activity
This report briefly discusses key differences between domestic terrorism and ordinary criminal activity. Unlike ordinary criminals--who are often driven by self-centered motives such as profit and tend to opportunistically seek easy prey--domestic terrorists are driven by a cause or ideology. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700767/
Risk and Needs Assessment in the Criminal Justice System
This report provides information on the use of risk and needs assessment in the criminal justice system. It starts with an overview of risk and needs assessment and a discussion of some of the critiques of it. The report concludes with a discussion of the issues policymakers might consider if they debate legislation to expand the use of risk and needs assessment in the federal prison system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700810/
South Carolina Church Shooting and Hate Crime in the United States
This report provides statistics on Hate Crimes in the United States, in the wake of the South Carolina Church Shooting on June 18, 2015. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700885/
Legislation to Facilitate Cybersecurity Information Sharing: Economic Analysis
This report analyzes the sharing of cyberattack information by government with private companies, by private companies with the government, and among private companies. Sharing information with consumers is mentioned but is not the central focus of this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689138/
Agricultural Disaster Assistance
This report briefly discusses the federal grand jury, which exists to investigate crimes against the United States and to secure the constitutional right of grand jury indictment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689485/
The Federal Grand Jury
This report discusses the federal grand jury, which exists to investigate crimes against the United States and to secure the constitutional right of grand jury indictment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689320/
U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: The Mérida Initiative and Beyond
This report begins with a brief discussion of security challenges in Mexico and Mexico's security strategy. It then provides updated information on congressional funding and oversight of the Mérida Initiative before delving into its four pillars. The report concludes by raising policy issues that Congress may wish to consider as it continues to fund and oversee the Mérida Initiative and broader U.S.-Mexican security cooperation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627094/
Missing and Exploited Children: Background, Policies, and Issues
This report covers only select aspects of the broader topic of missing and exploited children. It begins with an overview of the scope of the missing and exploited children issue, including definitions and approximate numbers of children known to be missing or exploited. The report also provides information about the Missing and Exploited Children's (MEC) program's funding, oversight, and major components. Finally, the report discusses issues that may be relevant to the MEC program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627104/
Sex Trafficking: Proposals in the 114th Congress to Amend Federal Criminal Law
This report discusses proposed legislation that would amend federal substantive law in three areas: commercial sex trafficking (18 U.S.C. 1591); the Mann Act, which outlaws transportation and travel for unlawful sexual purposes; and federal tax crimes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626910/
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources, by Topic
This report provides references to analytical reports on cybersecurity from CRS, other government agencies, trade associations, and interest groups. The reports and related websites are grouped under a variety of cybersecurity topics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627154/
Attribution in Cyberspace: Challenges for U.S. Law Enforcement
This report discusses criminal attribution in the cyber security realm. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505591/
Domestic Human Trafficking Legislation in the 114th Congress
This report discusses domestic human trafficking-related issues that have received legislative action or are of significant interest in the 114th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505478/
Federal Involvement in Sex Offender Registration and Notification: Overview and Issues for Congress, In Brief
This report begins with a brief background on sex offender crime and policy in the United States, followed by a description of the role of the federal government in sex offender registration and notification. It concludes with a discussion of select issues on which Congress may exercise additional oversight or address through legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505642/
Terrorist Attacks in Europe and Mounting Security Concerns
This report briefly discusses the European policy response to recent terrorist attacks. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503304/
Balancing Tourism against Terrorism: The Visa Waiver Program
This report briefly discusses Congress's concern that some foreign fighters might exploit the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) to enter the United States and commit acts of terrorism. The VWP allows eligible visitors from 38 European nations and a few prosperous Asia-Pacific countries to enter the United States for short business or leisure stays without first obtaining a visa from a U.S. consulate abroad. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503569/
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources, by Topic
This report provides references to analytical reports on cybersecurity from CRS, other government agencies, trade associations, and interest groups. The reports and related websites are grouped under the following cybersecurity topics: policy overview; National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC); cloud computing and FedRAMP; critical infrastructure; cybercrime, data breaches and data security; national security, cyber espionage, and cyberwar (including Stuxnet); international efforts; education/training/workforce; and research and development (R&D). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505562/
Supervised Release (Parole): An Abbreviated Outline of Federal Law
This report discusses the supervised release (parole) for federal crimes, the nature of the supervision and the conditions imposed during supervised release. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505489/
Supervised Release (Parole): An Overview of Federal Law
This report discusses the supervised release (parole) for federal crimes, the nature of the supervision, and the conditions imposed during supervised release. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505437/
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources, by Topic
This report provides references to analytical reports on cybersecurity from CRS, other government agencies, trade associations, and interest groups. The reports and related websites are grouped under a variety of cybersecurity topics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503534/
Domestic Human Trafficking Legislation in the 114th Congress
This report discusses domestic human trafficking-related issues that have received legislative action or are of significant interest in the 114th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505360/
Legislation to Facilitate Cybersecurity Information Sharing: Economic Analysis
This report analyzes the sharing of cyberattack information by government with private companies, by private companies with the government, and among private companies. Sharing information with consumers is mentioned but is not the central focus of this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503362/
Missing Adults: Background, Federal Programs, and Issues for Congress
The first section of this report discusses demographics and record keeping of missing adults and unidentified remains, as well as some of the factors that may contribute to the disappearance of adults. This section also discusses federally-funded databases that are used to track data on missing adults and unidentified individuals. The second section of the report describes the federal programs and initiatives to assist in locating missing adults, including funding data where applicable. Finally, the third section discusses issues about the federal role in missing adult cases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820830/
Trafficking in Persons in Latin America and the Caribbean
This report describes the nature and scope of the problem of human trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean, including U.S. efforts to deal with trafficking in persons in the region, as well as the successes and failures of some recent country and regional antitrafficking efforts. The report concludes by raising issues that may be helpful for the 113th Congress to consider as it continues to address human trafficking as part of its authorization, appropriations, and oversight activities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503532/
Public Trust and Law Enforcement--A Brief Discussion for Policy Makers
This report provides a brief overview of police-community relations and how the federal government might be able to promote more accountability and better relationships between citizens and law enforcement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503547/
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources, by Topic
This report provides references to analytical reports on cybersecurity from CRS, other government agencies, trade associations, and interest groups. The reports and related websites are grouped under the following cybersecurity topics: policy overview; National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC); cloud computing and FedRAMP; critical infrastructure; cybercrime, data breaches and data security; national security, cyber espionage, and cyberwar (including Stuxnet); international efforts; education/training/workforce; and research and development (R&D). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503613/
Asset Forfeiture: Selected Legal Issues and Reforms
This report discusses the asset forfeiture, which refers (in this report) to the process of confiscating either property or money from a person because it is illegal to possess (contraband), constitutes the proceeds of a crime, or was used to facilitate a crime. The report provides an overview of both types -- civil asset forfeiture and criminal forfeitures -- as well as select legal issues and structural reforms. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503631/
Sex Trafficking of Children in the United States: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of sex trafficking of children in the United States. It first conceptualizes the issue, discussing the victims and perpetrators involved. It then outlines the federal response to investigating and prosecuting perpetrators as well as providing services to victims. The report concludes with a discussion of select issues concerning the federal response to sex trafficking of minors in the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503580/
Crime and Forfeiture
This report provides an overview of federal forfeiture law. It sketches the origins and general attributes of forfeiture, describes the distribution of the hundreds of millions of dollars it generates, and identifies some of the related constitutional issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501682/
Crime and Forfeiture: In Short
This report provides a brief background information on property and trigger crimes and discusses civil forfeiture, criminal forfeiture, disposition of forfeited assets and constitutional considerations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501544/
In Re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001: Claims Against Saudi Defendants Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA)
This report summarizes the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) and jurisdiction in cases against foreign defendants and analyzes the court of appeals decision. It also discusses legislative efforts to address these issues(S. 1535 and H.R. 3143). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501938/