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Federal Conspiracy Law: A Sketch

Description: 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.
Date: January 20, 2016
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: The Mérida Initiative and Beyond

Description: 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.
Date: January 15, 2016
Creator: Ribando Seelke, Clare & Finklea, Kristin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Juvenile Justice Funding Trends

Description: 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.
Date: January 8, 2016
Creator: Finklea, Kristin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

President Obama Announces Executive Actions to "Reduce Gun Violence"

Description: 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.
Date: January 8, 2016
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: The Mérida Initiative and Beyond

Description: 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.
Date: January 5, 2016
Creator: Ribando Seelke, Clare & Finklea, Kristin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Criminal Justice Reform: One Judge's View

Description: 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.
Date: January 1, 2016
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: January 1, 2016
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Police Use of Force: Rules, Remedies, and Reforms

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?
Date: October 30, 2015
Creator: Thompson, Richard M., II
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Is Violent Crime in the United States Increasing?

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.
Date: October 29, 2015
Creator: James, Nathan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Crime Victims Fund: Federal Support for Victims of Crime

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.
Date: October 27, 2015
Creator: Sacco, Lisa N.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sentencing Reform: Comparison of Selected Proposals

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).
Date: October 26, 2015
Creator: Cole, Jared P. & Doyle, Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: October 22, 2015
Creator: James, Nathan & Yeh, Brian T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Backlog of Sexual Assault Evidence: In Brief

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.
Date: October 19, 2015
Creator: Sacco, Lisa N. & James, Nathan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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).
Date: October 14, 2015
Creator: Fernandes-Alcantara, Adrienne L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: October 14, 2015
Creator: Doyle, Charles
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: October 13, 2015
Creator: James, Nathan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Tactical Teams

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.
Date: September 3, 2015
Creator: James, Nathan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress

Description: This report explores current foreign policy issues confronting U.S. efforts to combat human trafficking, the interrelationship among existing polices, and the historical and current role of Congress in such efforts. Given recent challenges in balancing budget priorities, the 112th Congress may choose to consider certain aspects of this issue further, including the effectiveness of international anti-trafficking projects, interagency coordination mechanisms, and the monitoring and enforcement of anti-trafficking regulations, particularly as they relate to the activities of U.S. government contractors and subcontractors operating overseas.
Date: August 11, 2015
Creator: Rosen, Liana W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: July 30, 2015
Creator: Krouse, William J. & Richardson, Daniel J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: July 29, 2015
Creator: Doyle, Charles
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 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.
Date: July 29, 2015
Creator: Ribando Seelke, Clare
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department