Congressional Research Service Reports - 92 Matching Results

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FY2017 Appropriations for the Department of Justice
This report discusses appropriations for the Department of Justice (DOJ) for fiscal year 2017. It includes an overview of the DOJ's accounts, broken down by department and program; an comparison of appropriations for fiscal years 2016 and 2017; and select legislative proposals.
FBI Directorship: History and Congressional Action
This report first provides some legislative history surrounding the enactment of the 1968 and 1976 amendments to the appointment of the FBI Director, as well as information on the nominees to the FBI Directorship since 1972. The report then discusses precedent for lengthening the tenure of an office and the constitutionality of extending the tenure of the Directorship for the current incumbent, and addresses whether it would be necessary for Mr. Mueller to be appointed a second time.
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.
Identity Theft Laws: State Penalties and Remedies and Pending Federal Bills
This report provides an overview of state laws on identity theft. It discusses state laws that penalize identity theft, as well as state laws that assist identity theft victims, including those that permit consumers to block unauthorized persons from obtaining their credit information, known as “security freezes.” The report also includes a survey of state “credit freeze” statutes. The report concludes with summaries of federal identity theft legislation pending in the 110th Congress.
Gang Deterrence: A Legal Analysis of H.R. 1279 With References to S. 155
This report examines the Gang Deterrence and Community Protection Act of 2005, H.R. 1279, which as passed by the House, among other things, would dramatically increase the criminal penalties that follow as a consequence of a conviction for violent crimes, including gang offenses. It would expand the instances where juveniles charged with federal crimes of violence can be tried as adults and would authorize the establishment of criminal street gang enforcement teams.
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources
This report provides links to selected authoritative resources related to cybersecurity issues, including: legislation, hearings in the 112th Congress, data and statistics, and cybersecurity glossaries.
Department of Justice (DOJ) Appropriations for FY2008 and FY2009
This report provides a discussion of funding for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for fiscal years 2008 and 2009, including background information, a breakdown of funding from FY2008 regular and supplemental funding, and budget requests for FY2009.
Trade-Based Money Laundering: Overview and Policy Issues
This report discusses the scope of the trade-based money laundering (TBML) problem and analyzes selected U.S. government policy responses to address TBML. It includes a listing of hearings in the 114th Congress that addressed TBML.
Mass Shootings and Terrorism: CRS Products
This document provides a list of CRS reports on issues relevant to the mass shooting incident in Florida, including mass murder with firearms, firearms regulation, domestic terrorism, and hate crime.
Sifting Domestic Terrorism from Hate Crime and Homegrown Violent Extremism
This report examines the differences between domestic terrorism, hate crime, and homegrown violent extremism. Federal law enforcement agencies use these three distinct concepts to categorize key types of criminals whose illegal activities are at least partly ideologically motivated.
Special Counsels, Independent Counsels, and Special Prosecutors: Options for Independent Executive Investigations
This report analyzes the use of special prosecutors and independent counsels that were authorized under now-expired provisions of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as well as the use of special counsels that are currently authorized by Department of Justice (DOJ) regulations. It also addresses constitutional considerations in establishing independent inquiries to address perceived conflicts of interest between investigating officials and the officials being investigated.
Latin America: Terrorism Issues
In the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America intensified, with an increase in bilateral and regional cooperation. Latin American nations strongly condemned the attacks. This report outlines the U.S.-Latin American relationship in regards to terrorism, including several pieces of international counterterrorism legislation, including the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism and the Organization of American States.
Latin America: Terrorism Issues
In the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America intensified, with an increase in bilateral and regional cooperation. Latin American nations strongly condemned the attacks. This report outlines the U.S.-Latin American relationship in regards to terrorism, including several pieces of international counterterrorism legislation, including the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism and the Organization of American States.
Obscenity and Indecency: Constitutional Principles and Federal Statutes
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Obscenity, Child Pornography, and Indecency: Recent Developments and Pending Issues
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Gun Control Legislation in the 107th Congress
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Cyberwarfare
Cyberwarfare raises issues of growing national interest and concern. Cyberwarfare can be used to describe various aspects of defending and attacking information and computer networks in cyberspace, as well as denying an adversary’s ability to do the same. Some major problems encountered with cyber attacks, in particular, are the difficulty in determining the origin and nature of the attack and in assessing the damage incurred.
Missing and Exploited Children: Overview and Policy Concerns
This report presents an overview of two national incidence studies prepared by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to determine annually the number of reported missing and recovered children in the nation. It also discusses the AMBER Alert System created to help recover reported missing children, legislation introduced in the 108th Congresses to address the missing children issue, and questions that remain regarding concerns about missing children.
Obscenity and Indecency: Constitutional Principles and Federal Statutes
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Obscenity, Child Pornography, and Indecency: Recent Developments and Pending Issues
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Obscenity and Indecency: Constitutional Principles and Federal Statutes
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Obscenity, Child Pornography, and Indecency: Recent Developments and Pending Issues
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When Are Violent Crimes Federal Hate Crimes?
This legal sidebar briefly explains federal law in regards to hate crimes.
When is Running Guns from the Philippines to Mexico a Federal Crime?
This report discusses the case "United States v. Ubaldo" which concerns whether a gun smuggler who smuggled guns from a foreign country through the United States and then into another foreign country can be charged with a federal crime. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the conviction for conspiracy and causing the importation of weapons in violation of the Arms Export Control Act and ban on importing military firearms.
Latin America: Terrorism Issues
This report discusses terrorism in the region tri-border area (TBA) of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay has been a regional hub for Hizballah and Hamas fundraising activities. The report also examines activity by Cuba, which has been designated by the State Department as a state sponsor of terrorism since 1982, and asserts that Venezuela has virtually ceased its cooperation in the global war on terror.
Cybercrime: An Overview of the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Statute and Related Federal Criminal Laws
The federal computer fraud and abuse statute, 18 U.S.C. 1030, protects federal computers, bank computers, and computers used in interstate and foreign commerce. It shields them from trespassing, threats, damage, espionage, and from being corruptly used as instruments of fraud. It is not a comprehensive provision, but instead it fills crack and gaps in the protection afforded by other federal criminal laws. This is a brief sketch of section 1030 and some of its federal statutory companions.
Latin America: Terrorism Issues
This report discusses terrorism in the region tri-border area (TBA) of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay has been a regional hub for Hizballah and Hamas fundraising activities. The report also examines activity by Cuba, which has been designated by the State Department as a state sponsor of terrorism since 1982, and asserts that Venezuela has virtually ceased its cooperation in the global war on terror.
Organized Retail Crime
This report provides an overview of organized retail crime rings, their operations, and goods targeted. It then examines the domestic impact of organized retail crime (ORC) in the arenas of the economy, public health and safety, and domestic security. The report also outlines current efforts by retailers, resale markets, and the federal government to combat ORC. It then analyzes various policy issues that the 111th Congress may wish to consider, including whether current federal resources provided for the investigation of ORC are adequate, whether to amend the U.S. Code to criminalize ORC, and whether to regulate resale marketplaces that may be utilized as fences for criminals to sell stolen goods.
D.C. Gun Laws and Proposed Amendments
In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which declared three firearms provisions of the D.C. Code unconstitutional, a flurry of legislation was introduced both in Congress and in the District of Columbia Council. This report provides an analysis of the District's firearms laws and congressional proposals.
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.
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.
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.
France: Efforts to Counter Islamist Terrorism and Radicalization
This report briefly discusses heightened concern regarding the threat of Islamist terrorism in France and Europe.
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.
Gun Control Proposals in the 113th Congress: Universal Background Checks, Gun Trafficking, and Military Style Firearms
This report provides an overview of federal firearms law and examines these gun control proposals and related amendments.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF): Budget and Operations
This report provides an overview of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) budget and operations. It will be updated as needed to reflect congressional action on the FY2010 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS), and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, the appropriations bill that includes the ATF account.
Digital Searches and Seizures: Overview of Proposed Amendments to Rule 41 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure
This report provides a brief overview of the proposed amendment to Rule 41, which would amend the federal search and seizure rules to permit the government to remotely access electronic devices although the location of the device may be unknown. First, the report provides a background on the origin of, and rationale underlying, the proposed amendment and a description of the rule as currently written. Second, it reviews the potential changes made by the proposed amendment and will survey various concerns commenters have raised with the proposal. Lastly, this report addresses efforts being made in Congress to alter, delay, or stop this rule change.
Digital Searches and Seizures: Overview of Proposed Amendments to Rule 41 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure
This report provides a brief overview of the proposed amendment to Rule 41. First, it provides a background on the origin of, and rationale underlying, the proposed amendment and a description of the rule as currently written. Second, it reviews the potential changes made by the proposed amendment and will survey various concerns commenters have raised with the proposal. Lastly, this report addresses efforts being made in Congress to alter, delay, or stop this rule change.
Update: What Constitutes "Sexual Abuse of a Minor" For Immigration Purposes
This report provides an update of an earlier report from April 6, 2017, providing the final decision by the Supreme Court in the case of "Esquivel-Quintana v. Sessions". The case concerned the question of whether an immigrant alien who was convicted of sexual abuse of a minor where the minor was under 18 but at least 16 (in this case statutory rape in California between a 21 year old male and a 17 year female) was removable for an aggravated felony under immigration law. The Supreme Court ruled that the immigration law required the victim be under 16 before the removal of an alien for an aggravated felony would be allowable.
Drug Control: International Policy and Options
Over the past decade, worldwide production of illicit drugs has risen dramatically: opium and marijuana production has roughly doubled and coca production tripled. Street prices of cocaine and heroin have fallen significantly in the past 20 years, reflecting increased availability. Despite apparent national political resolve to deal with the drug problem, inherent contradictions regularly appear between U.S. anti-drug policy and other national policy goals and concerns. The mix of competing domestic and international pressures and priorities has produced an ongoing series of disputes within and between the legislative and executive branches concerning U.S. international drug policy. One contentious issue has been the Congressionally-mandated certification process, an instrument designed to induce specified drug-exporting countries to prioritize or pay more attention to the fight against narcotics businesses.
Child Pornography: Constitutional Principles and Federal Statutes
The Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996, P.L. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009- 26, added a definition of “child pornography” that include visual depictions of what appears to be a minor engaging in explicit sexual conduct, even if no actual minor was used in producing the depiction. On April 16, 2002, in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, the Supreme Court held this provision unconstitutional to the extent that it prohibited pictures that were not produced with actual minors. (This case is discussed under “Section 2256,” below.) In response to Ashcroft, bills were introduced in the House and Senate that would continue to ban some child pornography that was produced without an actual minor; on June 25, 2002, the House passed one such bill: H.R. 4623, 107th Congress.
Drug Control: International Policy and Options
Over the past decade, worldwide production of illicit drugs has risen dramatically: opium and marijuana production has roughly doubled and coca production tripled. Street prices of cocaine and heroin have fallen significantly in the past 20 years, reflecting increased availability. Despite apparent national political resolve to deal with the drug problem, inherent contradictions regularly appear between U.S. anti-drug policy and other national policy goals and concerns. The mix of competing domestic and international pressures and priorities has produced an ongoing series of disputes within and between the legislative and executive branches concerning U.S. international drug policy. One contentious issue has been the Congressionally-mandated certification process, an instrument designed to induce specified drug-exporting countries to prioritize or pay more attention to the fight against narcotics businesses.
Child Pornography: Constitutional Principles and Federal Statutes
The Child Pornography Prevention Act of 1996, P.L. 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009- 26, added a definition of “child pornography” that include visual depictions of what appears to be a minor engaging in explicit sexual conduct, even if no actual minor was used in producing the depiction. On April 16, 2002, in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, the Supreme Court held this provision unconstitutional to the extent that it prohibited pictures that were not produced with actual minors. (This case is discussed under “Section 2256,” below.) In response to Ashcroft, bills were introduced in the House and Senate that would continue to ban some child pornography that was produced without an actual minor; on June 25, 2002, the House passed one such bill: H.R. 4623, 107th Congress.
The Department of State's Patterns of Global Terrorism Report: Trends, State Sponsors, and Related Issues
This report highlights trends and data found in the State Department’s annual Patterns of Global Terrorism report, (Patterns 2003) and addresses selected issues relating to its content.
NASA's Space Shuttle Columbia: Quick Facts and Issues for Congress
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Drug Control: International Policy and Approaches
Over the past decade, worldwide production of illicit drugs has risen dramatically: opium and marijuana production has roughly doubled and coca production tripled. Street prices of cocaine and heroin have fallen significantly in the past 20 years, reflecting increased availability. Despite apparent national political resolve to deal with the drug problem, inherent contradictions regularly appear between U.S. anti-drug policy and other national policy goals and concerns. The mix of competing domestic and international pressures and priorities has produced an ongoing series of disputes within and between the legislative and executive branches concerning U.S. international drug policy. One contentious issue has been the Congressionally-mandated certification process, an instrument designed to induce specified drug-exporting countries to prioritize or pay more attention to the fight against narcotics businesses.
War on Drugs: Legislation in the 108th Congress and Related Developments
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Terrorism and National Security: Issues and Trends
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Drug Control: International Policy and Approaches
Over the past decade, worldwide production of illicit drugs has risen dramatically: opium and marijuana production has roughly doubled and coca production tripled. Street prices of cocaine and heroin have fallen significantly in the past 20 years, reflecting increased availability. Despite apparent national political resolve to deal with the drug problem, inherent contradictions regularly appear between U.S. anti-drug policy and other national policy goals and concerns. The mix of competing domestic and international pressures and priorities has produced an ongoing series of disputes within and between the legislative and executive branches concerning U.S. international drug policy. One contentious issue has been the Congressionally-mandated certification process, an instrument designed to induce specified drug-exporting countries to prioritize or pay more attention to the fight against narcotics businesses.
Terrorism, the Future, and U.S. Foreign Policy
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