Congressional Research Service Reports - 366 Matching Results

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Latin America: Terrorism Issues

Description: U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America intensified in the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, with an increase in bilateral and regional cooperation. Over the past several years, policymakers have been concerned about Iran's increasing activities in Latin America, particularly its relations with Venezuela, although there has been disagreement over the extent and significance of Iran's relations with the region. In the 112th Congress, several initiatives have been introduced related to terrorism issues in the Western Hemisphere regarding Mexico, Venezuela, and the activities of Iran and Hezbollah, and several oversight hearings have been held.
Date: January 5, 2012
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Risk and Needs Assessment in the Criminal Justice System

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

Organized Crime: An Evolving Challenge for U.S. Law Enforcement

Description: In the last two decades, organized crime has grown more complex, posing evolving challenges for U.S. federal law enforcement. These criminals have transformed their operations in ways that broaden their reach and make it harder for law enforcement to combat them. They have adopted more-networked structural models, internationalized their operations, and grown more tech savvy. They are a significant challenge to U.S. law enforcement. There still is no single agency charged with investigating organized crime in the way the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been designated the lead investigative agency for terrorism. Further, resources to tackle this issue are divided among many federal agencies. As such, Congress may exert its oversight authority regarding the federal coordination of organized crime investigations via the 2011 strategy. Policymakers may also debate the efficacy of current resources appropriated to combat organized crime.
Date: January 6, 2012
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P. & Finklea, Kristin M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sex Trafficking: An Overview of Federal Criminal Law

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.
Date: June 25, 2015
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sifting Domestic Terrorism from Other Illegal Activity

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.
Date: June 24, 2015
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Trafficking in Persons in Latin America and the Caribbean

Description: This report describes the nature and scope of the problem of trafficking in persons in Latin America and the Caribbean. It then describes U.S. efforts to deal with trafficking in persons in the region, as well as discusses 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.
Date: January 28, 2014
Creator: Ribando Seelke, Clare
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Cocaine Sentencing Disparity: Sentencing Guidelines, Jurisprudence, and Legislation

Description: This report discusses legislation and several court cases to examine the changing nature of Crack Cocaine penalties in comparison to powder cocaine. Until 2005, the Guidelines were binding on federal courts: the judge had discretion to sentence a defendant, but only within the narrow sentencing range that the Guidelines provided. In its 2005 opinion United States v. Booker, the Supreme Court declared that the Guidelines must be considered advisory rather than mandatory, in order to comply with the Constitution. Instead of being bound by the Guidelines, sentencing courts must treat the federal guidelines as just one of a number of sentencing factors (which include the need to avoid undue sentencing disparity).
Date: August 5, 2010
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Terrorism, Miranda, and Related Matters

Description: This report provides background information regarding Miranda rights and public safety exception. The report discusses Supreme Court decisions on Miranda v. Arizona, due process inquiry, and the Fifth Amendment right.
Date: May 24, 2010
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gun Control Legislation

Description: This report provides basic firearms-related statistics, an overview of federal firearms law, and a summary of legislative action in the 111th Congress.
Date: December 21, 2010
Creator: Krouse, William J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Deprivation of Honest Services as a Basis for Federal Mail and Wire Fraud Convictions

Description: The United States Supreme Court in Skilling v. United States construed the honest services branch of the federal mail and wire fraud statutes to reach no more than cases involving bribery or kickbacks. The mail and wire fraud statutes, 18 U.S.C. ยงยง 1341 and 1343, impose criminal penalties for the use of mail or interstate wire communications to deprive another of money or property through a "scheme or artifice to defraud." This report discusses wire and mail fraud and examines relevant court cases.
Date: July 28, 2010
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC)--Responsibilities and Potential Congressional Concerns

Description: This report looks at inadequacies present in the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) which prevent the Center from adequately performing its duty. These inadequacies include issues with agency organization, lack of resources, and a focus on threats from Yemen over domestic threats.
Date: January 7, 2011
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gun Control Legislation

Description: This report provides basic firearms-related statistics, an overview of federal firearms law, and a summary of legislative action in the 111th Congress. The report concludes with salient issues that have generated significant congressional interest, including the 1994-2004 LCAFD ban.
Date: August 27, 2010
Creator: Krouse, William J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reauthorizing the Office of National Drug Control Policy: Issues for Consideration

Description: This report provides a discussion of the National Drug Control Strategy, the National Drug Control Budget, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy's (ONDCP's) evaluation of the National Drug Control Strategy implementation. It then provides an analysis of selected legislative and oversight issues that Congress may consider when debating the reauthorization of ONDCP. Policymakers may question the status of the war on drugs, whether drug use should be seen as more of a law enforcement issue or a public health issue, and whether drug control resources are more effective when directed toward prevention and treatment or toward law enforcement. Another issue for consideration is whether the National Drug Control Budget--as currently conceived--represents a comprehensive view of federal drug control activities in the United States. Further, Congress may exercise oversight over ONDCP's means of evaluating the nation's federal drug control programs.
Date: December 10, 2010
Creator: Finklea, Kristin M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Organized Crime: An Evolving Challenge for U.S. Law Enforcement

Description: This report provides an analysis of how organized crime has capitalized on globalization by using borders as opportunities, relying on fast-paced technological change, and adapting its organizational structures. It illustrates how these transformations can impact U.S. persons, businesses, and interests. The report includes a discussion of how U.S. law enforcement conceptualizes organized crime in the 21st century and concludes by examining potential issues for Congress, including the extent to which organized crime is a national security threat (partly to be tackled by U.S. law enforcement agencies), congressional oversight regarding the federal coordination of organized crime investigations, and the utility of current resources appropriated to combat organized crime.
Date: December 23, 2010
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P. & Finklea, Kristin M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Secret Service Protection Mission Funding and Staffing: Fact Sheet

Description: The U.S. Secret Service (USSS) has two broad missions, criminal investigations and protection. The protection mission, which is the focus of this fact sheet, covers the President, Vice President, their families, and candidates for those offices, along with the White House and Vice President's residence, through the Service's Uniformed Division. Protective duties also extend to foreign missions in the District of Columbia and to designated individuals, such as the DHS Secretary and visiting foreign dignitaries. This fact sheet provides information on USSS funding and staffing because congressional attention has turned to the USSS and its operations due to several recent incidents.
Date: November 25, 2014
Creator: Reese, Shawn; Painter, William L. & Nagel, Jared C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Background, Legislation, and Funding

Description: This report discusses the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, which was created by Title I of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-322). The mission of the COPS program is to advance community policing in all jurisdictions across the United States. Legislation introduced in the 111th Congress would reauthorize the COPS program through FY2014 and reestablish COPS as a multi-grant program. This report provides an overview and analysis of issues Congress might choose to consider when taking up legislation to reauthorize the COPS program.
Date: January 4, 2011
Creator: James, Nathan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department