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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Criminal Money Laundering Legislation in the 109th Congress
This report gives a brief overview of U.S. law as it relates to the crime of money laundering by identifying bills in the 109th Congress that have amended definitions or sentencing for money laundering and predicated offenses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824813/
Proposed Change to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) under S. 113
This report discusses S. 113, a bill to extend the coverage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act ("FISA") to non-U.S. persons who engage in international terrorism or activities in preparation for terrorist acts, without a showing of membership in or affiliation with an international terrorist group. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824819/
President Obama Announces Executive Actions to "Reduce Gun Violence"
This report briefly discusses executive actions aimed at, among other things, "keep[ing] guns out of the wrong hands through background checks" and "mak[ing] our communities safer from gun violence." These actions include, for example, directing specified executive agencies to conduct or sponsor research into gun safety technology and finalizing a rule requiring firearms shippers to notify law enforcement of any firearms lost or stolen in transit. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824798/
Capital Punishment: An Overview of Federal Death Penalty Statutes
This report lists the current federal capital offenses and summarizes the procedures for federal civilian death penalty cases. Several laws are relevant to the topic including: P.L. 103-322, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994; the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996; and P.L. 107-197, the Terrorist Bombings Convention Implementation Act of 2002. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824804/
Criminal Justice Reform: One Judge's View
This report briefly provides highlights from an article written by Judge Alex Kozinski of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in which he recommended 26 changes in the U.S. criminal justice system, federal and state. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824682/
Federal Conspiracy Law: A Brief Overview
This report is a brief discussion of the common features of federal conspiracy law that evolved over the years, with passing references to some of the distinctive features of some of the statutory provisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824725/
Combating Terrorism: First Emergency Supplemental Appropriations - Distribution of Funds to Departments and Agencies
This report provides background on the 2001 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Recovery from and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the United States, P.L. 107-38 (H.R. 2888) as well as the criteria for use of the funds developed by The Office of Management and Budget (OMB). It also outlines information about supplemental fund distributions in three tables. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824750/
War On Drugs: Legislation in the 108th Congress and Related Developments
This report covers significant legislative and oversight activities of the 108th Congress that concern domestic law enforcement aspects of federal anti-drug policy. It also includes an overview of significant executive branch actions and other current developments of likely interest to the congressional audience that follows this issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824754/
Drug Control: International Policy and Approaches
This report discusses various U.S. international narcotics policy approaches meant to achieve two main goals: to reduce the supply of illicit narcotics flowing into the United States, and to reduce the amount of illicit narcotics cultivated, processed, and consumed worldwide. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824496/
Body Armor for Law Enforcement Officers: In Brief
This report contains an overview of the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Initiative (BPV program). It also provides a discussion of data on law enforcement agencies that require their officers to wear armor vests while on duty, research on why officers may choose to wear armor vests, research on the life cycle for armor vests, data on the use of body armor by law enforcement officers who were killed with a firearm, and research on the effectiveness of armor vests. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824625/
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 information on congressional funding and oversight of the Mérida Initiative, with details about each of the program's four pillars. The report concludes by raising policy issues that Congress may wish to consider. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824641/
Federal Conspiracy Law: A Sketch
This is a brief discussion of the common features of federal conspiracy law that evolved over the years, with passing references to some of the distinctive features of some of the statutory provisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824647/
Free-Riders or Compelled Riders? Key Takeaways as Court Considers Major Union Dues Case
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824656/
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 information on congressional funding and oversight of the Mérida Initiative, with details about each of the program's four pillars. The report concludes by raising policy issues that Congress may wish to consider. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824428/
Former U.S. Hostages of Iran to be Eligible for Compensation
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824433/
Juvenile Justice Funding Trends
This report provides a brief overview of the juvenile justice grant programs and the overall appropriation administered by the Department of Justice's (DOJ's) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). There is no federal juvenile justice system, however the government uses federal juvenile justice entities and grant programs in order to influence the states' systems. Eligibility for some of these grant programs is tied to certain mandates that the states must adhere to in order to receive federal funding. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824606/
Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law: An Abbreviated Sketch
This report discusses the application of American criminal law outside the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821700/
Botswana: The San (Bushmen) Rights Case
This report discusses the case of San people of Botswana against the government of Botswana. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821706/
The Death Penalty: Capital Punishment Legislation in the 109th Congress
This report discusses legislation regarding the death penalty in the 109th Congress. The USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act (Reauthorization Act) contains a number of death penalty related provisions. Some create new federal capital offenses; some add the death penalty as a sentencing option in the case of preexisting federal crimes; some alter the procedural attributes of federal capital cases. Other proposals offered during the 109th Congress would have followed the same pattern: some new crimes; some new penalties for old crimes; and some procedural adjustments. Only one of the other proposals, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, passed, although at least one House approved several others. Three proposals do not fit the pattern; they either would have abolished the death penalty as a federal sentencing alternative or would have imposed a moratorium upon executions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822361/
The Death Penalty: Capital Punishment Legislation in the 109th Congress
This report discusses legislation regarding the death penalty in the 109th Congress. The USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act (Reauthorization Act) contains a number of death penalty related provisions. Some create new federal capital offenses; some add the death penalty as a sentencing option in the case of preexisting federal crimes; some alter the procedural attributes of federal capital cases. Other proposals offered during the 109th Congress would have followed the same pattern: some new crimes; some new penalties for old crimes; and some procedural adjustments. Only one of the other proposals, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, passed, although at least one House approved several others. Three proposals do not fit the pattern; they either would have abolished the death penalty as a federal sentencing alternative or would have imposed a moratorium upon executions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc818326/
Gangs in Central America
This report describes the gang problem in Central America, discusses country and regional approaches to deal with the gangs, and analyzes U.S. policy with respect to gangs in Central America. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822352/
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/metadc822380/
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, and 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 for FY2002 through FY2008, where applicable. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc819365/
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/
Prison Litigation Reform Act: Survey of Post-Reform Act Prisoners' Civil Rights Cases
This report summarizes the Prison Litigation Reform Act and surveys post- Reform Act court decisions interpreting the Act and other cases concerning prisoners' civil rights. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822594/
Overview of FY2016 Appropriations for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS)
This report tracks and describes actions taken by the Administration and Congress to provide FY2016 appropriations for the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) accounts. It also provides an overview of FY2015 appropriations for agencies and bureaus funded as part of the annual appropriation for CJS. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822396/
Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Statutes: An Overview of Legislation in the 107th Congress
This report examines legislation in the 107th Congress pertaining to federal mandatory minimum sentencing statutes (mandatory minimums), which demand that execution or incarceration follow criminal conviction. They cover drug dealing and using a gun to commit a federal crime, among other crimes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820873/
Proposed Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Labor Issues
This report examines three labor issues and arguments related to the pending U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement (CFTA, H.R. 5724): violence against trade unionists; impunity (accountability for or punishment of the perpetrators); and worker rights protections for Colombians. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820872/
Immigration-Related Detention: Current Legislative Issues
This report examines policy issues surrounding detention of aliens, including concerns about the number of aliens subject to mandatory detention and the justness of mandatory detention, especially as it is applied to asylum seekers arriving without proper documentation. Some have raised concerns about the length of time in detention for aliens who have been ordered removed. Additionally, issues have been raised about the amount of detention space available to house DHS detainees. Another area of uncertainty is the Attorney General’s role in the detention of noncitizens, since the creation of DHS. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820948/
Crime and Forfeiture: The Innocent Third Party
Forfeiture has survived through time in American law, and since 1984, the use of forfeiture statutes to divest felons of their spoils has increased substantially. This report reviews the case law which raises the issue concerning many relative to whether some civil forfeiture proceedings constitute punishment which may violate the Eighth Amendment's excessive fines clause. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820885/
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/
In Re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001: Dismissals of 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 recent court of appeals decision. This report examines the legal bases for those dismissals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795547/
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/
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/
Anti-Terrorist/Anti-Money Laundering Information-Sharing by Financial Institutions under FINCEN's Regulations
This report discusses Information-sharing programs developed by Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) designed to aid law enforcement investigation and prosecution of money laundering and terrorist financing. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795802/
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/
North Korea: Terrorism List Removal?
This report discusses the issue of North Korea's inclusion on the U.S. list of terrorism-supporting countries, which has been a major issue in U.S.-North Korean diplomacy since 2000, particularly in connection with negotiations over North Korea's nuclear program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795342/
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/
Special Prosecutors: Investigations and Prosecutions of Police Use of Deadly Force
This legal sidebar discusses the suggestion to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate cases of alleged law enforcement criminality. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795339/
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/
U.N. Convention Against Torture (CAT): Overview and Application to Interrogation Techniques
This report discusses the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) requires signatory parties to take measures to end torture within their territorial jurisdiction and to criminalize all acts of torture. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795469/
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/
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/
Federal Crime Control: Background, Legislation, and Issues
This report discusses the prevention and control of domestic crime, which has traditionally been a responsibility of state and local governments, with the federal government playing more of a supportive role. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795457/
The U.N. Convention Against Torture: Overview of U.S. Implementation Policy Concerning the Removal of Aliens
This report discusses the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), which requires signatory parties to take measures to end torture within their territorial jurisdictions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795753/
The Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Program: An Overview
This report provides an overview of the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, administered by the Department of Justice (DOJ), which provides financial assistance to eligible police departments to help improve community policing efforts. It includes a brief discussion of the establishment of the program, guidelines and requirements for grantees, and a summary of various Department of Justice initiatives under the COPS program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795785/
Military Base Closures: Socioeconomic Impacts
This report provides background on military base closures and an analysis of community economic impacts, planning for economic redevelopment, and environmental cleanup following closures. The most recent Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission rejected 13 of the initial Department of Defense recommendations, significantly modified the recommendations for 13 other installations, and approved 22 major closures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795762/
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/
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