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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Free-Riders or Compelled Riders? Key Takeaways as Court Considers Major Union Dues Case

Free-Riders or Compelled Riders? Key Takeaways as Court Considers Major Union Dues Case

Date: January 1, 2016
Creator: unknown
Description: This report briefly outlines the ongoing debate regarding Union dues. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2015, 7.2 million employees in the public sector belong to a union, with more than 700,000 additional government employees being represented by a union without belonging to the union.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Former U.S. Hostages of Iran to be Eligible for Compensation

Former U.S. Hostages of Iran to be Eligible for Compensation

Date: December 29, 2015
Creator: unknown
Description: This legal sidebar briefly discusses the U.S. victims of the 1979-1981 Iran Hostage Crisis, who will become eligible to receive up to $4.4 million each in compensation, thanks to the Justice for United States Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Act.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Tying Up Loose Ends... Supreme Court To Evaluate Federal Firearm Provision Again

Tying Up Loose Ends... Supreme Court To Evaluate Federal Firearm Provision Again

Date: December 3, 2015
Creator: unknown
Description: 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).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Police Use of Force: Rules, Remedies, and Reforms

Police Use of Force: Rules, Remedies, and Reforms

Date: October 30, 2015
Creator: Thompson, Richard M., II
Description: 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?
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Is Violent Crime in the United States Increasing?

Is Violent Crime in the United States Increasing?

Date: October 29, 2015
Creator: James, Nathan
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Crime Victims Fund: Federal Support for Victims of Crime

The Crime Victims Fund: Federal Support for Victims of Crime

Date: October 27, 2015
Creator: Sacco, Lisa N.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Sentencing Reform: Comparison of Selected Proposals

Sentencing Reform: Comparison of Selected Proposals

Date: October 26, 2015
Creator: Cole, Jared P. & Doyle, Charles
Description: 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).
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Is This the First Step in Undoing Mass Incarceration? 6,000 Federal Drug Offenders Set to be Released

Is This the First Step in Undoing Mass Incarceration? 6,000 Federal Drug Offenders Set to be Released

Date: October 22, 2015
Creator: James, Nathan & Yeh, Brian T.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S.-Mexico Security Cooperation Following "El Chapo" Guzmán's Escape

U.S.-Mexico Security Cooperation Following "El Chapo" Guzmán's Escape

Date: October 20, 2015
Creator: Beittel, June S. & Seelke, Clare Ribando
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Backlog of Sexual Assault Evidence: In Brief

Backlog of Sexual Assault Evidence: In Brief

Date: October 19, 2015
Creator: Sacco, Lisa N. & James, Nathan
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA): Background and Funding

Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA): Background and Funding

Date: October 14, 2015
Creator: Fernandes-Alcantara, Adrienne L.
Description: 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).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Sentence Reform Acts: S.2123 and H.R. 3713

Sentence Reform Acts: S.2123 and H.R. 3713

Date: October 14, 2015
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Risk and Needs Assessment in the Criminal Justice System

Risk and Needs Assessment in the Criminal Justice System

Date: October 13, 2015
Creator: James, Nathan
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Tactical Teams

Federal Tactical Teams

Date: September 3, 2015
Creator: James, Nathan
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Mass Murder with Firearms: Incidents and Victims, 1999-2013

Mass Murder with Firearms: Incidents and Victims, 1999-2013

Date: July 30, 2015
Creator: Krouse, William J. & Richardson, Daniel J.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Armed Career Criminal Act (18 U.S.C. 924(e)): An Overview

Armed Career Criminal Act (18 U.S.C. 924(e)): An Overview

Date: July 29, 2015
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Trafficking in Persons in Latin America and the Caribbean

Trafficking in Persons in Latin America and the Caribbean

Date: July 29, 2015
Creator: Ribando Seelke, Clare
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Risk and Needs Assessment in the Criminal Justice System

Risk and Needs Assessment in the Criminal Justice System

Date: July 24, 2015
Creator: James, Nathan
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S.-Mexico Security Cooperation Following "El Chapo" Guzmán's Escape

U.S.-Mexico Security Cooperation Following "El Chapo" Guzmán's Escape

Date: July 21, 2015
Creator: Beittel, June S.
Description: This report discusses the escape of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán on July 11, 2015, from a maximum security federal prison near Mexico City.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Charleston, SC, Mass Shooter Might Have Been Denied a Handgun If Not for Possible Recordkeeping Oversights

Charleston, SC, Mass Shooter Might Have Been Denied a Handgun If Not for Possible Recordkeeping Oversights

Date: July 13, 2015
Creator: Krouse, William J.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
France: Efforts to Counter Islamist Terrorism and Radicalization

France: Efforts to Counter Islamist Terrorism and Radicalization

Date: June 29, 2015
Creator: Belkin, Paul
Description: This report briefly discusses heightened concern regarding the threat of Islamist terrorism in France and Europe.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Sex Trafficking: An Overview of Federal Criminal Law

Sex Trafficking: An Overview of Federal Criminal Law

Date: June 25, 2015
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Sifting Domestic Terrorism from Other Illegal Activity

Sifting Domestic Terrorism from Other Illegal Activity

Date: June 24, 2015
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Risk and Needs Assessment in the Criminal Justice System

Risk and Needs Assessment in the Criminal Justice System

Date: June 22, 2015
Creator: James, Nathan
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department